What is the Impact of Wi-Fi 6E on SAR Testing?

What is the Impact of Wi-Fi 6E on SAR Testing?

It’s estimated that by 2025, the Internet of Things (IoT) market will reach $1.6 trillion, and the number of active IoT devices is expected to reach more than 25.4 billion by 2030. Wi-Fi 6E will play an important role in this growth by providing faster, more reliable, and secure connectivity. However, this advancement in Wi-Fi technology will require compliance testing to ensure consumer safety. So what does Wi-Fi 6E testing require and how will it affect the SAR testing process for these devices? Keep reading to learn more.

What is Wi-Fi 6E?

In 2020, the Federal Communications Commission decided to make the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use. The goal of this new designation was to enable faster speeds and lower latencies for products that already support the 6GHz wireless spectrum. Before this frequency band was made available, Wi-Fi 6 networks only had 580 MHz of the 5 GHz band available.

And although going from 5 GHz to 6 GHz may not seem like much, this is the greatest spectrum addition to Wi-Fi since 1989. This increase has just about quadrupled the number of airwaves that routers and smart devices can use.

Benefits of Updated Wi-Fi Technology

There are three key benefits of Wi-Fi 6E: less interference, lower latency, and greater internet speeds. Less interference is possible because most common wireless household devices don’t operate on the 6 GHz band. This frequency also enables internet speeds greater than 1 Gbps, making it faster than Wi-Fi 6. Finally, the increased spectrum range allows for less than one millisecond of latency.

Implications of Expansion Into the 6 GHz Spectrum

However, these benefits come with some limitations, including the 6 GHz spectrum’s shorter wavelengths. This means that although Wi-Fi 6E has lower latency, these waves can’t travel as far as waves in bands like 5 GHz. These waves also have a greater likelihood of interference from physical obstructions.

However, to limit interference, the FCC has developed the Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) system, which will allow these devices to operate at increased power levels, increasing the range and improving the performance of Wi-Fi 6E devices. The approval of these systems was announced on February 23, 2024, and applies to commercial operation of 6 GHz devices.

The Intersection of Wi-Fi 6E and SAR Testing

Most countries refer to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for SAR regulations. Both the ETSI and FCC have developed differing standards for devices operating on the 6 GHz band, so for Wi-Fi 6E testing, devices will need to be compliant with ETSI and FCC standards.

Wi-Fi 6E Testing Considerations

When it comes to Wi-Fi 6E testing, the FCC Rule Part that applies to 5 GHz devices also applies to 6 GHz devices. The difference is that the FCC has added new requirements for devices that operate in unlicensed bands. These requirements are laid out in detail in Title 47, Part 15, Subpart E, and the FCC’s OET Knowledge Database.

It’s important to note that although the 6 GHz spectrum is less commonly used than 5 GHz, this doesn’t mean it’s entirely unused. Devices like satellites and terrestrial microwave links use this spectrum, so new 6 GHz devices cannot interfere with them.

Get Help With Wi-Fi 6E Testing at RF Exposure Lab

Still have questions about Wi-Fi 6E testing and what it means for your devices? The RF Exposure Lab team is here to help. Our expert team knows that the SAR and RF testing landscape is constantly changing, just like technology, which is why we do the hard work of staying on top of it so our clients don’t have to. Working with an experienced SAR testing lab will help you successfully get through the compliance process quickly and smoothly.

We go above and beyond to make sure our clients understand what their devices need and are aware of where their devices are in the testing process. Through our unique expertise and commitment to our clients, we guarantee accurate testing and results.

We offer SAR testing services for a variety of wireless devices including wireless modems, laptops, tablets, cell phones, medical products, and much more. If you’re looking for SAR testing help provided with speed, accuracy, expertise, and integrity, contact us to get a quote for our services.