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New Wi-Fi 6 Release 2 Standard to Boost Upload Speed and Efficiency

Thursday, January 6th, 2022 (3:07 pm) - Score 3,600
Wi-Fi icon, sign. Vector illustration. Flat design. Connect green sign. Blue background.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has just taken the wraps off yet another update to the still fairly young 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) wireless networking standard which, for marketing purposes, is simply to be called ‘Wi-Fi 6 Release 2‘ and brings with it a couple of key improvements – mostly focused upon boosting upload speeds and power management.

Despite the fact that the Wi-Fi 6 standard is still gradually making its way into more devices, and the latest Wi-Fi 6E update – with support for the new 6GHz band – is hardly even out of the starting blocks, we now also have Wi-Fi 6 Release 2 to think about too.

The evolutionary update adds support for multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) on the uplink side of network connections, which should improve upload performance on busy wireless networks with multiple simultaneous users (although it’s unclear by how much). In addition, it introduces three new power management features to improve efficiency. The changes will work across all the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz WiFi bands.

As for the power management improvements, you get new low power and sleep mode enhancements – including broadcast target wake time (TWT), extended sleep time, and dynamic multi-user spatial multiplexing power save (SMPS) – enabling power optimization of multiple battery powered devices.

The aforementioned trio of features allows multiple devices to “receive extended sleep periods, allow for specific “wake up” times for transmitting data, and enable dynamic shut off of redundant receive chains to optimize power consumption.” Apparently, these power management features will benefit smart home, smart city, and Industrial IoT (IIoT) environments.

Improvements to WiFi standards are always welcome, although it does tend to take a few years before new standards become widely established in consumer hardware. In this case, many manufacturers have only just started to play around with Wi-Fi 6E, and we suspect that Release 2 may not be quite as easy to market, given its more modest technical improvements.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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16 Responses
  1. Alan says:

    So if you’ve already bought Wi-Fi 6 devices & router. You will need to replace them to get the new standard? Or will a firmware update enable this?

    1. TrueFibre says:

      I have just read it too it’s a little confusing but I think it’s for Wi-Fi 6E. If you a Wi-Fi 6 Routers you will only have 2.4 and 5 GHz bands but Wi-Fi 6E has 2.4 5 and 6 GHz bands.

    2. WibbledOff says:

      @TrueFibre That’s not correct, it adds support for multi-user MIMO on the upload for both WiFi 6 and 6E

  2. Alan says:

    I’ve not bought the router yet. I’ll wait then. The only device I have is Firestick Max for Wi-Fi 6. Will that not use band 6Ghz then?

    1. Alan says:

      Wait for a 6E router then?

    2. WibbledOff says:

      The firestick max is just WiFi 6 only and not 6E

  3. Alan says:

    Exactly. So it’s already out of date then? It cannot be updated for 6E then?

    1. WibbledOff says:

      Not out of date at all, just simply the firestick max would not benefit from using 6e as it doesn’t even use the maximum bandwidth of WiFi 6. It’s a streaming device.

    2. NE555 says:

      WiFi 6 can’t be upgraded to 6E; it would need new radios.

  4. Alan says:

    Ok. What do you think requires Wi-Fi 6 E? A pc, Apple device or console?

    1. spurple says:

      Nothing outside of enthusiast circles.

      If you have the money for it and you like the latest gizmos, go for it.

      I’m in no hurry to upgrade my WiFi 5 setup because it is effortlessly keeping up with my usage and internet connection speeds, especially since I went through the trouble of cabling all non-mobile equipment with gigabit ethernet.

  5. TrueFibre says:

    Thank you WibbledOff for wasn’t sure myself

  6. Sam P says:

    Those of you waiting, what exactly are you waiting for?

    Do you want gigabit speeds over wireless?
    Any 160mhz WiFi 6 router will do. Just don’t end up buying an 80mhz router by mistake, you’ll be lucky to get 600mbps.
    You don’t need 6E for these speeds.

    1. Alan says:

      Thanks for the info. Do you know if the Wi-Fi 6 router supplied by Windtre in Italy 160Mhz? As I’m moving to Rome.

  7. Ahmed says:

    What’s the point of this. If none of the providers offers good upload speed in the UK.

    1. Bitty Titty says:

      Never heard of Cityfibre then?

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