Aruba says partners can be at the forefront of rollout of next-generation Wi-Fi technology.

Christine Horton, Contributing Editor

July 27, 2021

2 Min Read
Wi-Fi 6E

COVID-19 has been a huge catalyst for Wi-Fi 6E, the next generation of Wi-Fi technology.


Aruba’s Helen Speak

That’s according to Helen Speak, channel director at Aruba UK&I, who was touting the opportunity for partners around the technology.

Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of Wi-Fi 6 and refers to devices that operate in the 6 GHz band. It is the largest expansion in Wi-Fi capacity in nearly two decades.

“Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen the need for connectivity grow exponentially with organizations increasingly using bandwidth-hungry services such as distanced learning and video conferencing. With the evolution toward hybrid working, companies are needing to rapidly adapt to the new environment and support the safe return to the workplace,” said Speak.

Speak said that bandwidth-hungry video and an increasing number of client and IoT means wireless infrastructure is becoming oversubscribed. This is throttling application performance.

“Naturally, this frustrates network users,” she said. “Negatively impacting their user experience, reducing productivity, stifling innovation, and putting digital initiatives at risk of failure.”

First Enterprise-Grade Solution

Aruba recently announced what it describes as “the first enterprise-grade solution that uses Wi-Fi 6E.” The 6 GHz band more than doubles the amount of RF spectrum available for Wi-Fi use. Compared to older devices, organizations can take advantage of increased capacity, broader channels in 6GHz, less congested airwaves and higher-speed connections.

“This has the potential to enable a range of new and exciting innovations across multiple industries,” said Speak.

“Partners have always been leaders of new technology and innovation. In the past 18 months [they] have supported our customers through unprecedented change. In offering Wi-Fi 6E, partners can be at the forefront of … a rapid adoption in the next couple of years.”

Rapid Adoption

Partners may face some obstacles, however. Wi-Fi 6E is still relatively new and there are currently very few supported client devices. Some customers will be reluctant to deploy Wi-Fi 6E until the technology becomes more widely adopted. Here, Aruba is using tri-radio APs which fully support all previous standards in addition to the new 6GHz band.

Also, demand for the previous generation, Wi-Fi 6. has been strong for the past few years. Customers are therefore not looking to upgrade these devices. Instead they favor deploying 6E when extending their existing networks or in areas where they need higher performance.

However, according to market intelligence research firm 650 Group, Wi-Fi 6E will see rapid adoption in the next couple of years. It predicts more than 350 million devices will enter the market in 2022 that support 6 GHz. 650 Group expects over 200%-unit growth of Wi-Fi 6E enterprise APs in 2022.


Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Christine Horton or connect with her on LinkedIn.




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About the Author(s)

Christine Horton

Contributing Editor, Channel Futures

Christine Horton writes about all kinds of technology from a business perspective. Specializing in the IT sales channel, she is a former editor and now regular contributor to leading channel and business publications. She has a particular focus on EMEA for Channel Futures.

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