May 09 2024

For Better Videoconferencing, Schools Turn to Wi-Fi 6E

K–12 educators can take advantage of upgraded wireless solutions to improve teaching, learning and connectivity.

The shift to Wi-Fi 6E, which expands on Wi-Fi 6, offers faster speeds, stronger network security and lower latency. Aiming to capitalize on these benefits, organizations are investing in Wi-Fi 6E, even as the wireless LAN market shrinks. IDC notes in a press release, “Wi-Fi 6E revenues grew 13.0% between the second and third quarters to make up 20.4% of dependent access point revenues and 9.6% of the quarter’s unit shipments.”

What’s more, the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E can be experienced beyond the classroom. For example, East Providence Public Schools opted for virtual learning in December as a bridge closure disrupted traffic throughout the area. Others districts are using the expanded wireless capabilities to set up virtual field trips and experiences such as ranger-led distance learning through the National Park Service.

Wi-Fi 6E can support videoconferencing for any situation in which students and educators need to learn remotely.

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How Wi-Fi 6E Elevates Videoconferencing and Online Learning

The benefits of Wi-Fi 6E extend far beyond faster web browsing speeds. By employing multiuser, multiple-input, multiple-output technology, for instance, Wi-Fi 6E enables simultaneous data transmission to multiple devices. It optimizes network performance in a way that’s particularly vital for educators juggling various devices during videoconferences. Intel released a comparison video of a user on a video call with congested Wi-Fi 5 versus Wi-Fi 6E networks.


A Cisco blog notes that Wi-Fi 6E offers “ultra-high-definition video conferencing without lag,” thanks to the 6-gigahertz band’s “lightning-fast speeds, less traffic, better reliability, stronger security with WPA3, and ultra-low latency.” This gives Wi-Fi 6E the ability to support videoconferencing solutions that are bandwidth-intensive and low-latency.

Using orthogonal frequency-division multiple access, Wi-Fi 6E partitions channels into smaller subchannels, enabling more efficient data transmission. It’s not unlike a supermarket having “four checkout lines for groceries instead of one,” notes Silex Technology on its website. This is especially valuable in one-to-one K–12 districts because it ensures stable and reliable connections without interference.

Wi-Fi 6E also leverages target wake time “to improve network efficiency and device battery life,” including that of Internet of Things devices, notes Juniper Networks. This is another significant benefit for students and educators who don’t have easy access to charging stations in the classroom.

Altogether, Wi-Fi 6E’s spectrum expansion and use of 802.11ax features significantly alleviate network congestion while enhancing device connectivity. And with higher quality videoconferencing experiences, classes can also be more productive.

UP NEXT: Consider an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 or 6E.

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