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Key Criteria for Evaluating Wi-Fi 6/6E Solutionsv1.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Wi-Fi 6/6E Primer
  3. Report Methodology
  4. Decision Criteria Analysis
  5. Evaluation Factors
  6. Wi-Fi 6/6E Capabilities
  7. Key Criteria: Impact Analysis
  8. Analyst’s Take
  9. About Ivan McPhee

1. Summary

As internet traffic increases and download speeds decrease due to congestion, demand for faster, high-throughput Wi-Fi is on the rise. In addition, the exponential increase of internet of things (IoT) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) sensors supporting new use cases, and the proliferation of devices used for education, entertainment, socialization, and work translate to a growing volume of users dependent on fast, reliable wireless connectivity for almost every facet of their daily lives. As a result, a survey by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) found that more than 83% of enterprises, equipment manufacturers, and service providers are planning to deploy Wi-Fi 6 or 6E by the end of 2022, with 58% of respondents claiming 6 GHz support (available with Wi-Fi 6E) is critical or very important to their strategy.

With fiber rolled out across many cities worldwide, Wi-Fi is quickly becoming the bottleneck for delivering the quality of experience (QoE) users demand. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has driven the adoption of high-quality, live-streamed video for face-to-face communications and live events, increasing reliance on video streaming within the enterprise and making it one of the fastest-growing areas for data stored in the cloud. With industry reports indicating online videos make up more than 80% of all consumer traffic, the rapid adoption of video and virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) applications by businesses will only increase the demand for higher speeds and lower latencies.

Designed to relieve network congestion, improve client density, and reduce client power consumption, Wi-Fi 6 offers lower latency, higher throughput, and faster speeds with a maximum theoretical throughput of 9.6 Gbps across multiple channels compared to Wi-Fi 5’s 3.5 Gbps. Wi-Fi 6E takes things up a notch, utilizing the 6 GHz bandwidth to further alleviate network congestion in high-density areas while maintaining Wi-Fi 6 throughput.

This GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Wi-Fi 6/6E report outlines critical criteria and evaluation factors for selecting a Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E solution. In addition, the corresponding GigaOm Radar for Wi-Fi 6/6E report provides an overview of notable Wi-Fi 6/6E vendors and their offerings available today. Together, these reports offer essential insights for Wi-Fi initiatives, helping decision-makers evaluate solutions and decide where to invest.

How to Read this Report

This GigaOm report is one of a series of documents that helps IT organizations assess competing solutions in the context of well-defined features and criteria. For a fuller understanding, consider reviewing the following reports:
Key Criteria report: A detailed market sector analysis that assesses the impact that key product features and criteria have on top-line solution characteristics—such as scalability, performance, and TCO—that drive purchase decisions.
GigaOm Radar report: A forward-looking analysis that plots the relative value and progression of vendor solutions along multiple axes based on strategy and execution. The Radar report includes a breakdown of each vendor’s offering in the sector.
Solution Profile: An in-depth vendor analysis that builds on the framework developed in the Key Criteria and Radar reports to assess a company’s engagement within a technology sector. This analysis includes forward-looking guidance around both strategy and product.