Man and child talking - All rights reserved to Sandra Cifo

You may have noticed that in the last few weeks, the industry has been talking a lot about Wi-Fi 6E. Count Cisco among the conversation starters about Wi-Fi 6E too. In fact this Wireless blog has been chock-full of more and more posts talking about Wi-Fi 6E.

These conversations have probably lead to a number of questions: what about Wi-Fi 6? What’s going on with that standard?

The answer to both questions is: no, Wi-Fi 6 isn’t going anywhere. Wi-Fi 6E may be the new thing that we’ve been thinking about a lot lately, but Wi-Fi 6 is still here and it’s still quite awesome.

Wi-Fi 6E extends Wi-Fi 6 into the 6GHz spectrum to deliver faster speeds, lower latency and more security (WPA3 is required) across the network.

Due to the opening of the 6GHz spectrum, Wi-Fi 6E is going to be big. But Wi-Fi 6 has the features and functionality that will keep your network humming along until more Wi-Fi 6E client devices are released and become more prominent. In other words, Wi-Fi 6 is not retiring anytime soon, which is good news because you can use this time to make sure that your network is ready for Wi-Fi 6E.

Let’s review the current Wi-Fi 6 offerings from the Catalyst 9100 family and go over what Cisco has available.

For large-sized deployments, the Catalyst 9130 and 9120 are two access points up to the task. The Catalyst 9130 has up to four Wi-Fi radios: 5GHz flexible radio (single 8×8 or dual 4×4), 2.4GHz (4×4) and Cisco RF ASIC. Both access points support Intelligent Capture which probes the network and provides Cisco DNA Center with deep analysis. The software can track more than 240 anomalies and instantaneously review all packets on demand, emulating the onsite network administrator.

If you’re a small to medium-sized organization, the sleek Cisco Catalyst 9105 and 9115 Access Points provide the cutting-edge feature functionality, at the right price. These access points also support the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard and the Catalyst 9105 offer two distinct mounting options (ceiling and wall) allowing for optimal organizational flexibility. For outdoor solutions of all sizes, don’t forget about the rugged outdoor access point, the Catalyst 9124.

When paired with DNA Center, all the Catalyst access points are instantaneously enabled your environment with AI/ML capabilities that work seamlessly and automatically for you, providing you with more time to handle important tasks.

Using Cisco’s sophisticated AI/ML models, you can view network health benchmarks that are based on network data collected over time.

For network optimization, insights are provided on:

  • Long-term variations in performance trends
  • Comparison of site health within an enterprise or with industry peers

What does that mean for you? It means that you can review this data and decide which parts of your facility might need tweaking. For example, these models can provide you with information on who is in certain parts of your building. If you notice that people aren’t in that part of the building, you can adjust temperature and lights, saving money.

As a feature available in DNA Center, Cisco User Defined Network allows end-users control of their very own wireless network partition on a shared network. You can then remotely and securely deploy their devices on this network. Perfect for university dormitories or extended hospital stays, Cisco User Defined Network grants both device security and control, allowing you to choose who can connect to your network.

So, while the future of Wi-Fi 6E looks wonderful and we all can’t wait for it to be here, the future of Cisco Wi-Fi 6 Catalyst solutions will burn bright for years to come.

Keep an eye from Cisco on our social media channels over coming weeks to learn the latest news on Wi-Fi 6E solutions—specifically our Wireless page. You’ll be treated to blogs and podcasts that will tackle the new technology in depth, plus a lot more news as soon as it becomes available.


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Byron Magrane

Product Manager, Marketing