Differences Between WiFi 6, 5G, and WiFi 6E

In the next generation of wireless technologies, 5G, WiFi 6, and WiFi 6E are vital players. The three wireless technologies have promised to provide better performance and fast data transmission rates for powering next-generation devices such as the Internet of Things. Due to the lack of understanding of these three wireless technologies, several misconceptions are rising.

For instance, people think that 5G is capable of replacing WiFi. Some people believe that all three enterprise technologies are appropriate for an enterprise network. But the three technologies are different and have different operations. Go through this article to understand everything about the three wireless technologies.

WiFi 6

WiFi 6 introduced various features that can improve wireless performance than WiFi 5. Some of the more advanced features of WiFi 6 are as follows:

  • Orthogonal frequency- division multiplexing access: It enables devices and routers to utilize bandwidth even more efficiently.
  • Target wait time: It helps in reducing power consumption with a significant improvement in the battery life of a device.
  • Increased speed: WiFi 6 can offer a speed of 9.6 Gbps which was 3.5 Gbps on WiFi 5.

WiFi 6 offers these features along with supporting up to seven 160 MHz channels or fourteen 80 MHz channels. The increased availability of channels increases the WiFi service spectrum. It results in decreased overlapping of networks in crowded spaces like offices.

WiFi 6E

WiFi 6E is similar to WiFi 6 in terms of technology. But the spectrum of WiFi 6E is different from WiFi 6. When WiFi 6 is available in the 6 GHz band, it is called WiFi 6E. It can improve the efficiency and capabilities of WiFi 6. WiFi 6E offers high bandwidth applications with up to seven 160 MHz channels. It ensures that the applications need low latency with fast data transmission rates. 

Due to the extra width of the channels, multi-gigabit speeds are available with WiFi 6E. The 5 GHz band for WiFi 6 did not have enough spectrum for this. WiFi 6E includes key applications like cloud computing, IoT, virtual reality, and augmented reality. The round-trip latency needs for these features are much higher than for voice traffic.

Another key characteristic of WiFi 6E is that it won’t be backward compatible, unlike previous generations. The backward compatibility of previous generations often hampered the efficiency of the technology.


5G is another radio access network that can be used to solve different problems. 2G, 3G, and 4G are faster versions of the mobile network. But 5G is the pioneer of mobile technology in the cloud era. Carriers can deploy their network in the C-band, which will offer them 100 MHz wide channels.

5G will not be able to take over WiFi as it’s mandatory for offloading traffic in wireless networks. Around 60% of MBs from mobiles are expected to be carried over WiFi. Carriers are looking forward to offloading as much traffic as possible from a low-cost medium, and WiFi is their solution. 

Citizens Broadband Radio Service enables enterprises to create their own private 5G wireless networks. The radio-frequency band is around 3.5 GHz to 3.7 GHz in this spectrum. After getting clearance for the main spectrum required for 5G connections in the C-band, 5G products are gradually on the rise. 

Ending Note

Organizations should know that the three wireless technologies can work together in any enterprise network. The three wireless technologies can be applied to various business conditions and requirements. 

Organizations can start thinking about future-proofing their network with 6 GHz equipment. Companies that have large outdoor operations should consider 5G on the cellular front. Organizations using a DAS can use a 5G layer as a cost-effective solution.