iPhone 15 Wi-Fi 6E support – faster speeds, less interference

An analyst report points to likely iPhone 15 Wi-Fi 6E support this year – giving at least some of this year’s iPhones access to an entirely new frequency band.

If accurate, it would mean increased capacity, reduced interference and better video streaming performance…

iPhone 15 Wi-Fi 6E support

MacRumors spotted a Barclays research note that suggested Apple is bringing support for the new standard to the iPhone 15 — though it didn’t say whether it was across the lineup or just the two Pro models.

Apple has already brought the Wi-Fi 6E standard to both the latest iPad Pro models, both the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro, and the new Mac mini.

Confusing naming

As is often the case with technical standards, the naming is quite confusing.

Wi-Fi originally only worked in the 2.4 GHz band. This offers limited speeds and is subject to interference from things like microwaves.

The first major development was adding access to the 5Ghz band. This provides significantly greater capacity, less susceptibility to interference, reduced latency and higher speeds. The most recent change was the addition of the 6GHz band.

You might think that devices supporting Wi-Fi 6 would provide access to 6GHz Wi-Fi, but no – that would be too logical. Access to the 6Ghz spectrum requires support for Wi-Fi 6 Improvedmore commonly known as Wi-Fi 6E.

Advantages of Wi-Fi 6E

The 6GHz spectrum offers a number of advantages compared to 5GHz. First, it offers a lot more capacity. This means less congestion in the cities and allows for wider channels – providing better connections for video streaming and virtual reality. Wi-Fi 6E efficient quadruple capacity because it offers 14 additional 80MHz channels and seven brand new 160MHz channels.

Second, there is no interference with anything else because the 6GHz band is reserved exclusively for Wi-Fi.

Third, channels can be wider, which means more bandwidth for streaming video and other data-intensive applications like virtual reality. The speed can exceed 1 gig and the latency can be less than a millisecond.

Disadvantages of Wi-Fi 6E

It’s not all good news, unfortunately. First, you’ll probably need a new router to take advantage of it. Very few of today’s wireless routers support Wi-Fi 6E, so you’ll likely need to upgrade.

Second, Wi-Fi 6E has a shorter range than plain old Wi-Fi 6 and is also more easily blocked by physical structures. So if you live in a home with thick walls, performance will likely suffer. You may also find that the Wi-Fi 6E coverage does not extend as far outside your home, in yards and gardens.

However, this is not a big problem in practice, as the coverage simply falls back to the 5GHz range.

9to5Mac’s Take

The report seems pretty vague, and we’ve been burned once before by reports that said Wi-Fi 6E was coming to the iPhone 14.

That said, given that Apple has already upgraded the radio chips in the latest iPads and Macs, extending the same capabilities to this year’s Pro model iPhones seems a safe bet. Less certain is whether the non-Pro models will get the same upgrade.

Photo: Alessandra Wolfsberger/Unsplash

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