May 15 2024
Networking

Why Businesses Are Turning to Wi-Fi 6E for For Better Videoconferencing

Companies operating in hybrid or remote environments can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6E to improve operations and connectivity.

Editor's note: This article was originally published in February 2024 and has since been updated with new, relevant information.

Enterprises continue to invest in Wi-Fi 6E, even as the wireless LAN market shrinks. While the enterprise segment of the WLAN network declined 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2023, 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.”

This shift to Wi-Fi 6E, which expands on Wi-Fi 6, offers faster speeds, stronger network security and lower latency. What’s more, the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E can be experienced beyond the office: Wi-Fi 6E can support videoconferencing for the 80 percent of companies operating in a hybrid or fully remote environment.

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The Current State of Videoconferencing and Remote Work

Today, 35 percent of employed adults work fully remotely, and 41 percent work in a hybrid environment, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. In both cases, videoconferencing remains a top priority so that meetings run smoothly and workers can connect.

Owl Labs, a company that makes 360-degree videoconferencing devices, notes in a 2022 report that only 1 in 3 employers have upgraded their video meeting technology since the start of the pandemic. This has led to an abundance of issues.

Specifically, “32% of remote meeting participants report not being able to see faces and therefore missing visual cues, and 29% report being unable to tell who’s speaking during hybrid meetings,” the company notes on its website. This isn’t always due to a remote device or connection. In fact, 26 percent of in-person meeting participants face internet problems, according to the report.

LEARN MORE: Why you should consider an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 or 6E?

Suboptimal connectivity can cause a lack of productivity, which is already an annual $8.8 trillion problem globally. That’s why businesses are turning to Wi-Fi 6E to improve networking and ease frustrations during the workday.

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How Wi-Fi 6E Elevates Videoconferencing and Remote Work

The benefits of Wi-Fi 6E extend far beyond enhanced web browsing speeds. By employing multi-user, 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 employees juggling various devices during videoconferences. Cisco notes on its website that, with MU-MIMO, “There are no more bottlenecks. Devices get on and off the network quicker, allowing more devices to be served.”

Using orthogonal frequency-division multiple access, Wi-Fi 6E partitions channels into smaller subchannels, enabling more efficient data transmission. This is similar to a supermarket having “four checkout lines for groceries instead of one,” notes Silex Technology on its website. This is especially valuable in crowded office environments 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 remote employees who rely on mobile devices for video calls. TWT can conserve device battery life by scheduling when and how frequently devices connect to the network.

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, teams can also be more productive.

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