Aruba to launch 6E WiFi hotspot in the fall

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The Aruba 6E AP 635 WiFi Access Point will support the 6 GHz band spectrum which doubles the space previously allocated to wireless without a license by the FCC.

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Aruba’s AP 635 hotspot announced by the OEM this week will soon allow users to take advantage of the latest WiFi 6 standard, also known as WiFi 6E. The latter works in much the same way as WiFi 6, which it includes all the features, including the improved ability to handle dense client environments, high throughput and advanced multi-user and multi-antenna functionality. In addition to this, WiFi 6E can use the 6 GHz band spectrum (between 5 945 and 6 412 MHz) open in the United States and under authorization in Europe (see decisions of the ANFR in France) at unlicensed users, thus doubling the spectrum available for WiFi. This extra spectrum means that WiFi users can enjoy much wider channels, and therefore proportionately higher throughput.

Support for 6 GHz frequency bands was already built into the WiFi 6 standard, but chipmakers did not start creating hardware capable of using these frequency bands until the FCC decision last year. . “The Aruba 630 series of access points will provide backward compatibility with 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz terminals, support for existing PoE standards and Aruba’s usual suite of security and failover features,” said the equipment manufacturer in a press release. The first model released will be the AP 635, an indoor access point presented by Aruba as more or less standard for the company.

Contours indicating the exceeding of the protection criterion of the CBTC according to the position of the user of the WiFI according to the explanations of the ANFR.

An expected network update

According to Steve Brar, senior director of product marketing at Aruba, this hotspot should be of interest to the higher education, healthcare and events sectors involving large quantities of people, but he added that the WiFi 6E functionality should be an asset for all sectors. “It is possible that today a lot of customers are not trying to push the limits of what their existing WiFi can do, but anyone considering a network upgrade should opt for WiFi 6E in anticipation. future uses, ”he said.

Michael Fratto, senior research analyst in the Applied Infrastructure and DevOps team at 451 Research, also believes that adoption of equipment with the new standard is likely to be widespread. “The adoption is going to happen very naturally,” he said. “In practice, a higher bandwidth of several gigabits per second allows for real-time broadcasting, streaming, and anything that requires more capacity with lower latency.” Mr. Fratto also pointed out that the WiFi 6E standard could only work without a license, in “low power” mode. This mode should be sufficient for most common uses, especially indoors, but using it outdoors in larger areas may require the use of standard power mode. The latter must be used in conjunction with an external service called an automatic frequency controller (AFC), in order to minimize interference with other users having access to the 6 GHz frequency band (TNT and SNCF radio network for the system. CBTC rail report in France). This system is similar to the three-tier system used for dynamic sharing system frequencies in the 3.5 GHz band CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service), which is distributed among licensees, priority access licensees and general users without a license. “In fact, the automatic frequency controller knows how the channels are being used in a given area and tells the user which channels are available to avoid interfering with a license holder,” explained Fratto.

Impacts to be measured with 6 GHZ

“WiFi 6E could also pose slightly different challenges for site surveys and physical deployments,” he added. Given its somewhat higher frequency than the 5 GHz WiFi bands currently in use, 6 GHz signals could propagate differently, and use cases dependent on 6 GHz could impact the geographic positioning of the points. access. “There will probably be lessons to be learned,” Fratto added. Aruba has announced that the AP 630 series will likely launch in the third quarter of this year. For the moment, the equipment manufacturer has not provided any information on the price of these future access points.

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