WN Podcast 045 – WiFi 6e and Future of WiFi with Gabe Desjardins from Broadcom

Welcome to the latest WiFi Ninjas Podcast!

Today we have a pleasure discussing WiFi 6e and future of WiFi with Gabe Desjardins, Director of Product Marketing, Wireless Connectivity Division at Broadcom.

Here is what we have discussed:

  • 6GHz Spectrum & Channels 
    • US = 1200MHz of additional spectrum
      • 59 x 20MHz channels
      • 29 x 40MHz channels
      • 14 x 80MHz channels
      • 7 x 160MHz channels
    • EU = 500Mhz of additional spectrum
      • 24 x 20MHz channels
      • 12 x 40MHz channels
      • 6 x 80MHz channels
      • 3 x 160MHz channels
    • Issues with the SNR and 160?
    • Why are the EU getting less than half the US? 
    • Broadcom have been advocating 160MHz channels. Is this really a viable option? 
    • More channels = more time to scan the channels = could lead to problems for devices to roam, how will this work? Will we scan 100 channels? 
    • Channel numbering scheme? Starting at 1 again in 6GHz (8-bit field 59 x channels barely fits the 8-bit field)
  • What else operate in the 6GHz frequency band? 
    • Any DFS? 
    • TV & Radio?
    • Emergency Services / Public safety? (UNII6 & UNII8) 
  • Indoor and outdoor power constraints? 
    • Low power indoor (27dBm in 160MHz channels, 24dBm in 80Mhz channel) permitted across whole 6GHz band. 
    • Constant EIRP of 30dBm – so even if we double the channel width we keep the same SNR.
    • 5dBm per MHz?
      • No longer lose SNR when we bond channels together
      • Power is independent of the bandwidth (PSD) – ensures the same net EIRP
    • Fixed indoor AP
    • Outdoor mobile AP (Phones & Cars etc) 
    • Very low power (14dBm EIRP) (AR & VR) (In car AP, game controllers)  
  • 6GHz Chipsets & Radios 
    • APs – Multi-bands
      • Tri radio APs? 2.4 + 5 + 6?
      • Quad radio APs? 
    • Will we have antennas that sit natively at the bottom end of 6GHz and can also access the upper channels in 5?
    • When are we likely to see APs & clients with 6GHz chipsets in them?
    • Broadcom launches world’s first WiFi 6E 6GHz chips (Jan 2020)
      • Intended for enterprise APs and residential networks
      • 4×4 dual band 160MHz support
      • 2×2 tri-band
      • 2×2 dual-band with ARM CPU
    • 15 billion WiFi devices that are currently on the market that are not 6GHz capable 
    • Timeline for 6GHz client penetration prediction? 
  • Access/ Edge Switches
    • Currently 1Gbps & 30Watt PoE on average
    • With all this additional spectrum and radio chains their will be new PoE & bandwidth requirements for access switches. What do you think these are realistically likely to be? 
  • WiFi 7
    • 320MHz wide channels? (would be only 3 x non overlapping)
    • What speed would that potentially give us?
    • Even more consideration for PoE budget & bandwidth for access switches.
    • Do you think it’s a good idea to add 802.11ax into 6GHz or have IEEE missed an opportunity to redefine the 802.11 protocol within a brand new spectrum that doesn’t have any backward compatibility to deal with?

Thanks a and tons of love!

WiFi Ninjas xx

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This WiFi Ninjas Podcast archive consists of all the podcasts we have ever recorded!