Wi-Fi 6E and the Connected Home

Cheevers_Charles_ektron Charles Cheevers May 28, 2020

image7yhd9.pngWi-Fi is vital to our daily lives. It’s what connects us to the Internet. It enables our busy digital lives and drives the on-line economy. It allows us to work, learn, and be entertained in our homes.

In these extreme times of COVID-19, we are seeing the increasing importance of always-on high-bandwidth, reliable and accessible connectivity.

On April 23, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz) available for unlicensed use. These new rules are a once in a generation increase in Wi-Fi resource, providing a congestion-free environment and the capacity to use wider channels to deliver higher speeds for all connected Americans. The use of the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard will be extended to this band (hence Wi-Fi 6E) to deliver the optimum Wi-Fi performance, even in high-density environments.

CLICK TO TWEET:  What does Wi-Fi 6E have to do with the connected home? CommScope’s Charles Cheevers explains in this blog.

With access to high bandwidth and low latency services, this will help power the U.S. economy by enabling enhanced remote work capability, entertainment, health management, eLearning and drive innovation in many other wireless connected applications.

Now that we can use Wi-Fi 6 in 6 GHz what are the use cases and features that make sense for service providers to take immediate advantage of this new spectrum? As consumers make their own choices on emerging Wi-Fi 6E enabled devices, there are “bookend” applications, i.e. where both devices as the end of a Wi-Fi connection are provided that will allow service providers to differentiate their connected home offerings with improved Wi-Fi performance and higher quality of service for single-family units and MDUs. 

The allocation of the 6GHz band to Wi-Fi is truly a historic moment in connectivity and will impact the world for decades to come. Following the FCC’s announcement, I joined FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and other industry leaders during the Wi-Fi NOW’s special webinar on Wi-Fi 6E where we discussed use cases. In my presentation, I highlighted what Wi-Fi 6E will mean for the connected home and propose what we in CommScope believe are the main use cases for driving Wi-Fi 6E adoption either by operator-provided applications or in retail where bookend solutions are sold. To view my presentation, watch the video below.

About the Author


Charles Cheevers

Charles Cheevers is Chief Technology Officer, Home Network Solutions, at CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks. He is responsible for the two- to five-year technology vision of CommScope’s consumer-premise equipment (CPE) business.


In this role, he defines new home architectures for CPE devices and cloud-to-ground solutions as well as the evolution of CommScope’s home gateways, set-tops, and connected home solutions.


In his more than 20 years in the telecommunications industry, Mr. Cheevers has been responsible for bringing to market a range of technologies — including DVB, DOCSIS, DSL, PON Network and CPE Video Voice and Broadband solutions. For the last six years, Mr. Cheevers has focused on delivering the next generation of connectivity and technology-driven user experiences to the home. As a result, he’s played a key role in pioneering major trends in Wi-Fi, IoT, IP video, TV experience and set-top technology, and most recently AI-driven smart solutions, with the debut of CommScope’s Smart Media Device.


Mr. Cheevers and his team have also been creating new home platforms for many of the world’s leading service providers. With the emergence of new wireless convergence solutions in both unlicensed and licensed bands — from 1 to 100GHz — Mr. Cheevers and the CommScope CTO office have been innovating new architectures for consumer and home wireless convergence across Wi-Fi, LTE and 5G.


Mr. Cheevers joined CommScope through its acquisition of ARRIS in April 2019 where he served as CTO of CPE Solutions from 2012 to 2019. He joined ARRIS in 2003 via acquisition of Com21 Inc and was VP Engineering of ARRIS Cadant® C3™ CMTS and D5™ EdgeQAM products. In 2006, he was appointed as Chief Technology Officer of Europe, a position he held concurrently to being GM for the ARRIS Edge QAM business from 2008 to 2010.


Prior to his tenure at ARRIS, Mr. Cheevers was Vice President of Engineering and an Officer of Com21 Inc and held senior management positions for Apple Inc.


Mr. Cheevers has served on the board of the Open Connectivity Foundation, one of the leading IoT standards initiatives, served on the SCTE organizing committee for 2018 and 2019 and is a recipient of the 2006 and 2011 Cable and Satellite Euro50 award for his contributions to cable technology.