Wi-Fi 6E opens up access to the 6GHz band (Wi-Fi 6 uses
5GHz) and with it a myriad of benefits including low latency, 3 times as many
Wi-Fi channels, and the capacity for much higher bandwidth. Another key benefit
is that devices like cordless phones, airport radar, perimeter sensors, and
digital satellite don’t interfere with Wi-Fi 6E like they do with previous
With higher bandwidth, more channels and less interference,
applications like VOIP and video over Wi-Fi will perform well and enable teams
to do more without being tethered, so many organizations are considering the
move to Wi-Fi 6E as end user devices become available.
How many access points will I need?
The first question most organizations ask is: How many
devices do I need and where should I mount them?
Access points and office layouts are not created equal. We
worked with a luxury hotel that opened to constant complaints about their
wireless network. Clients could connect, but kept losing their connection in
the middle of their work. We had another client running robots in a warehouse
and in certain locations, the robots would just stop moving. The hotel installed
far too many access points, while the warehouse was missing coverage in key
Both organizations planned their wireless networks “by eye.”
A better approach is to run a diagnostic tool that measures the effectiveness
of wireless signal in the space. Things like wall thickness, the shape of the
space, and number of clients, affect the number, location, and type of access
The hotel we worked with could have saved thousands of
dollars by buying fewer access points. The warehouse would have had better
results by adding a few access points (which is much easier upon original
installation than moving devices around – because access points are wired!) In
each case, developing a solid design before installing access points would have
resulted in cost savings and improved user experience.
Will my older devices work?
Yes. Many access points are tri-band, meaning they have
radios that support 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz. A wireless design will show
coverage and performance for all three bands, so you can be confident you have
coverage for a range of devices on your network.
This backward compatibility preserves your investment in
mobile devices and makes now a great time to invest in Wi-Fi 6E.
What other benefits come from a Wi-Fi design?
A good design will help you configure your devices for
optimal performance. Selecting channels, power levels and location are best
done by a tool to deliver optimal performance. Because client devices on a
wireless network move and because wireless signals are invisible without the
right tools, troubleshooting wireless networks is very difficult. A good
network design will tell you precisely where to locate the access points and
how to configure them, so your network performs well right out of the gate.
Remember: as you increase the capacity of your wireless
network, you may need to address the performance on your switches, which
connect your wireless and wired networks together.
MTSi is one of a select group of New England MSPs with the
Ekahau suite of wireless design tools. If you are planning an upgrade to Wi-Fi
6E and would like help planning your implementation, reach out to our sales