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the technical guide to 6GHz
for MSPs, ISPs and SPs.

After only two years after the approval by the FCC regulations and Wi-Fi Alliance (and the progressive approval by the national regulatory authorities in Japan, UE, Latin America) to open up the 6GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi broadcasting, the main networking OEMs have already launched the first WiFi6E access points.

The number of 6GHz supported access points is expected to reach 2.3 billion of which 350 million are Wi-Fi 6E capable. More than 400 products are now Wi-Fi 6E certified, Wi-Fi Alliance says.
Wi-Fi 6 APs constituted more than 76% of the shipments in the period according to IDC.
In previous articles, we have discussed this frequency range, the future of WiFi6E – WiFi 7 and the differences between 2.4GHz and 5GHz.
In this article, we have written a technical guide about the 6GHz frequency for MSPs, ISPs, SPs and about the differences between 6GHz, 5GHz and 2.4GHz.
Recently, Lee Badman – one of the most important authorities in the networking sector – has expressed his frustration about the lack of technical documentation for wireless products and technologies. As tech lovers, before being networking professionals, we can only agree.

This technical guide is quite long, but its length is fundamental to explain all the facets of the revolutionary 6Ghz.

The 6GHz band frequency

The 6GHz frequency, introduced with the new Wi-Fi 6E standard (802.11 ax), works in the worldwide range between 5.925 and 7.125 GHz (1200MHz grant of the spectrum) and has a theoretical top speed of 9.6 Gbps (the same as the 5GHz).
While the 6 GHz band is continuous and channelized across the entire 1200 MHz, network users are active in all sub-bands. The 6 GHz band frequency uses 59 channels of 20 MHz bandwidth. The channel numbers overlap with the current 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz band.

Following the same distribution model of the other bands, each country has enabled the spectrum in different sub-bands.

The FCC has designated four sub-bands for the US territory: U-NII-5, 6, 7, and 8.
The EU Commission, instead, allows network operators to exploit the “U-NII-5 equivalent” part of the band, the lower one: 480 MHz after the 20 MHz guard band.

Countries enabling Wi-Fi in 6GHz
Countries Status Spectrum
Argentina Considering 5925-6425 MHz
Australia Adopted - Considering 5925-6425 MHz - 6425-7125 MHz
Bahrain Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Brazil Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
CEPT Considering 5925-6425 MHz (*only considering 5945-6425)
Canada Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Chile Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Colombia Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Costa Rica Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Dominican Republic Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Egypt Considering 5925-6425 MHz
European Union Adopted 5925-6425 MHz (*only adopting 5945-6425)
Guatemala Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Honduras Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Hong Kong Adopted - Considering 5925-6425 MHz - 5925-7125 MHz
Iceland Adopted 5925-6425 MHz (*only adopting 5945-6425)
Japan Considering 5925-6425 MHz - 5925-7125 MHz
Jordan Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Kenya Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Liechtenstein Adopted 5925-6425 MHz (*only adopting 5945-6425)
Malasya Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Mauritius Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Mexico Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Morocco Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
New Zeland Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Norway Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Oman Considering 5925-6425 MHz
Peru Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Qatar Considering 5925-6425 MHz - 5925-7125 MHz
Saudi Arabia Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Russian Federation Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
South Africa Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
South Korea Adopted 5925-7125 MHz
Switzerland Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
Tunisia Considering 5925-6425 MHz
Turkey Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
United Arab Emirates Adopted 5925-6425 MHz
United Kingdom Considering 5925-6425 MHz - 6425-7125 MHz
United States Adopted 6425-7125 MHz

These data are updated at 04/19/2023

The tripled spectrum allows a fast rollout of new APs and network devices and enables more non-overlapping Wi-Fi channels.

This band frequency includes the orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) feature from cellular technologies, which takes advantage of servicing multiple users on sub-channels transmitted simultaneously. 6GHz supports the native orthogonal frequency division.
OFDMA allows the transmission of significant quantities of data over a single noisy channel. This technique works by splitting a single signal into multiple smaller transmitted signals. OFDMA is perfect for medium-far transmissions, while MU MIMO is more indicated for short-range.

6 GHz spectrum access approaches

Dynamic random spectrum access and contentionbased protocols require access to multiple channels to maintain acceptable performance.

6 GHz spectrum access approaches for Europe

6 GHz spectrum access approaches for Europe

6 GHz spectrum access approaches for other countries

6 GHz spectrum access approaches for worldwide countires (except Europe)

What are the benefits of the 6GHz band?

> 1 Gbps Speeds – More Spectrum
< Low levels of latency – Fully-Scheduled Traffic
> High Capacity on Cutting edge-devices
> More precise positioning
> More than 700 access points of the market supports 6GHz

Features introduced by the 6GHz band

6GHz introduces new ‘in-band’ features for:
airtime efficiency;
faster passive/active AP discovery.

Airtime efficiency

Beacon Changes

This feature removes information elements for older generations: add some parameters to Wi-Fi 6 operations and configuration information elements.

Multi-BSSID Beacon

This feature avoids sending repetitive information elements in separate beacons or probe responses. It allows for improved airtime efficiency.

New Rules for Probing

The 6GHz frequency band doesn’t allow probes in nor-PSC channels unless a beacon is received.
It allows probes in PSC channels.

Faster passive/active AP discovery

6GHz Passive AP discovery

Fast Initial Link Setup (FILS) AP discovery

This passive feature announces each device every 20 msec (TUs – 20-time units). FILS frame includes multiple fields and subfields populated with primary channel operating class identification, SSID, BSSID, and critical channel information. All this information is necessary for a client device to decide whether the AP is suitable for connection.

Unsolicited probe response frames AP discovery

This passive feature announces each device every 20 msec (TUs – 20-time units). It can contain the same information elements as a ‘normal’ probe response, but they are transmitted to the broadcast address. Thanks to this no-frame exchange transmission by the AP, the contention loss to get this information to a client device is low. All this information is necessary for a client device to decide whether the AP is suitable for connection.

6GHz Active AP discovery

Preferred Scanning Channels (PSC)

Preferred Scanning Channels (PSCs) are a group of 1 in 4 20 MHz channels designated for beacons and discovery that have priority within the 6 GHz Wi-Fi band.
Instead of scanning the entire 6 GHz spectrum for an optimal channel, devices that support 6GHz can scan PSCs for efficient connectivity. Clients can only send probes requests on every fourth 20 MHz channel.
The complete list of all the 6 GHz PSC channels is 5, 21, 37, 53, 69, 85, 101, 117, 133, 149, 165, 181, 197, 213, 229.

What is the difference between 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz?

The main difference between 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz wireless frequencies are the range (coverage) and bandwidth (speed) that the bands provide.
5GHz and 6GHz are faster than 2.4 GHz, but they have more difficulties penetrating solid surfaces, such as walls and floors. In 2022, the number of devices on the market that operate on 2.4GHz is much higher than the 5GHz and 6GHz ones. These bands tend to have less overcrowding interference from other devices and can guarantee a better data transmission level.
Band 20MHz Channels 40MHz Channels 80MHz Channels 160MHz Channels
2.4GHz 11 2 N/A N/A
5GHz 37 18 9 4
6GHz 59 29 14 7

Theoretical number of available channels on each band

Channel Width Valid Channel Numbers Number of PSC Channels PSC Channel Numbers
20 MHz 1, 5, 9, 12, 17, 21, 25, 29, 33, 37, 41, 45, 49, 53, 57, 61, 65, 69, 73, 77, 81, 85, 89, 93, 97, 101, 105, 109, 113, 117, 121, 125, 129, 133, 137, 141, 145, 149, 153, 157, 161, 165, 169, 173, 177, 181, 185, 189, 193, 197, 201, 205, 209, 213, 217. 221, 225, 229, 233 15 5, 21, 37, 53, 69, 85, 101, 117, 133, 149, 165, 181, 197, 213, 229
40MHz 1-5, 9-13 17-21, 25-29, 33-37, 41-45, 49-53, 57-61, 65-69, 73-77, 81-85, 99-93, 97-101, 105-109, 113-117, 121-125, 129-133, 137-141, 145-149, 153-157, 161-165, 169-173, 177-181, 185-189, 193-197,201 205, 209 213, 217-221, 225-229 15 5, 21, 37, 53, 69, 85, 101, 117, 133, 145, 165, 181, 197, 213, 229
80GHz 1, 13, 17, 29, 33, 45, 49, 61, 65, 77, 81, 93, 97, 109, 113, 125, 129, 141, 145, 157, 161, 173, 177, 189, 193, 205, 209, 221 14 5, 21, 37, 53, 69, 85, 101, 117, 133, 145, 165, 181, 197, 213
160GHz 1-29, 33-61, 65-93, 97-125, 129-157, 161-189, 193-221 7 5/21, 37/53, 69/85, 101/117, 133/149, 165/181, 197/213

Valid channels number and PSC Channels in 6GHz radio

Is it better to connect to 2.4 GHz, 5GHz or 6GHz?

The best frequency among these depends on inherent hardware features and the real-time radio-frequency environment.

Tanaza cloud management dashboard has specific features with which network engineers can easily manage hundreds or thousands of AP frequencies. They can switch from 2.4GHz to 5 GHz (and soon also to 6GHz thanks to the release of new Tanaza Powered Devices and Tanaza Compatible Devices)

For each AP, MSPs, ISPs, and SPs can select the radio mode, the channel and channel width, and the TX power.

To obtain the maximum signal spread and reduce the propagation loss, the technical conformation of each frequency suggests using the 2.4GHz band for 2.4 GHz radio-supported devices and IoT devices. Older 5Ghz may fall into a ‘legacy’ category and be moved to this band to avoid dragging down the performance of preferred clients in the 5 GHz band.

5 GHz becomes the band for mainstream high-performance devices that are not 6 GHz capable, allowing non-preferred devices to be relegated to 2.4 GHz as above.

The 6 GHz band can be used for the latest, highest-performance devices, almost by definition in the first few years of rollout. It benefits not only from the highest rates available but also from the lack of legacy equipment and lower noise levels in the band.

Read more tips to execute an accurate WiFi channel selection

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