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Aruba unveils enterprise-grade Wi-Fi 6E solution

By Shannon Williams, 01 Jun 2021

Aruba has announced the market's first enterprise-grade Wi-Fi 6E solution set, the 630 Series of campus access points (APs), starting with the AP-635.

The latest innovation in Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi 6E refers to Wi-Fi devices that operate in the 6 GHz band, which was in the largest expansion of Wi-Fi capacity in nearly two decades opened up in April 2020 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for unlicensed use in the United States. 

Opening the 6 GHz band more than doubles the amount of RF spectrum available for Wi-Fi use, allowing for less congested airwaves, broader channels, and higher-speed connections and enabling a range of innovations across industries. 

According to Aruba, since the FCC decision to open the 6 GHz band, 39 additional countries that are home to over 1.3 billion people have opened the 6 GHz unlicensed band for Wi-Fi 6E.

As organisations increase their use of bandwidth-hungry video, cope with increasing numbers of client and IoT devices connecting to their networks, and speed up their transition to cloud, the demand for Wi-Fi continues to rise. As a result, wireless networks are becoming oversubscribed, throttling application performance. This frustrates network users by negatively impacting the user experience, reduces productivity, puts digital initiatives at risk, and stifles innovation.

"With connectivity demands growing exponentially, Wi-Fi 6E can take advantage of up to seven, superwide 160 MHz channels and uncongested bandwidth in the 6 GHz band to deliver unprecedented multi-gigabit and low latency connectivity," says Kevin Robinson, SVP of Marketing at Wi-Fi Alliance. 

"Wi-Fi 6E will spur enhanced innovations and exciting new services. Wi-Fi Alliance is pleased to see longtime member Aruba bringing Wi-Fi 6E solutions to market that will help organisations better support critical activities like videoconferencing, telemedicine, and distance learning," he says.

According to research firm 650 Group, Wi-Fi 6E will see rapid adoption in the next couple of years, with over 350M devices entering the market in 2022 that support 6 GHz. 650 Group expects over 200% unit growth of Wi-Fi 6E enterprise APs in 2022.

The new Aruba Wi-Fi 6E solutions are part of Aruba ESP (Edge Services Platform), the industry's first AI-powered, cloud-native platform designed to unify, automate, and secure the Edge.

Able to predict and resolve problems at the network edge before they happen, Aruba ESPs foundation is built on AIOps, Zero trust network security, and a unified campus to branch infrastructure to deliver an automated, all-in-one platform that continuously analyses data across domains, tracks SLAs, identifies anomalies, and self-optimises, while seeing and securing unknown devices on the network.

With Aruba's new Wi-Fi 6E offerings, organisations can take advantage of the increased capacity, wider channels in 6 GHz, and significantly reduced signal interference with 3.9 Gbps maximum aggregate throughput to support high bandwidth, low latency services and applications such as high definition video, next-generation unified communications, augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR), IoT, and cloud. 

Additionally, with a new ultra tri-band filtering capability, which minimises interference between the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands, organisations can maximise use of the new spectrum.

"Aruba has two decades of leadership in Wi-Fi innovations, backed by an unwavering commitment to providing our customers with the reliable, fast, high capacity, and secure connectivity they need to pursue and exceed their organisational objectives," says Chuck Lukaszewski, vice president and wireless chief technology officer at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. 

"Since 2016 we have helped lead the advocacy effort that has led to the 6 GHz band being opened all over the world," he says.

"As such, we are extremely proud to be the first vendor to bring enterprise-grade Wi-Fi 6E solutions to market so our customers can take advantage of the huge increase in capacity that 6 GHz delivers."

Aruba 630 Series Access Point Key Features

Comprehensive tri-band coverage across 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz with 3.9 Gbps maximum aggregate data rate and ultra-triband filtering to minimise interference

Up to seven 160 MHz channels in 6 GHz to better support low-latency, high bandwidth applications like high-definition video and AR/VR

Operates on existing IEEE 802.3at standards for PoE power so there is no need to rip and replace existing power supplies

Advanced security with WPA3 and Enhanced Open to better protect passwords and data

Flexible failover with two HPE Smart Rate Ethernet ports for 1-2.5 Gbps, offering true hitless failover from one port to another for both data and power

Application assurance to guarantee stringent application performance for latency sensitive and high bandwidth uses by dynamically allocating and adjusting radio resources

Cloud, controller, or controllerless operation modes to address campus, branch, and remote deployments

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