A chip coming this fall is the key to unlocking your phone's faster Wi-Fi speeds

Wi Fi 6e Certified Phone
Wi Fi 6e Certified Phone (Image credit: Nick Sutrich/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The Broadcom BCM4389 supports the new Wi-Fi 6E standard for faster, more reliable wireless connections in your home.
  • It also includes a new Bluetooth 5 radio that claims better performance, battery life, and faster pairing times.
  • This chipset is expected to make its way into smartphones launching later in 2020 and beyond.

A new chip by one of the world's largest Wi-Fi chipset makers is slated to significantly increase the Wi-Fi speed of your next phone. According to CNet, Broadcom's BCM4389, a name that no one really needs to remember, will utilize the newly minted Wi-Fi 6E standard which was just announced last month at CES 2020. It's likely that this new chipset will be included in major flagship phones later in the year, so don't expect them on the recently announced Galaxy S20 or Galaxy Z Flip (although those phones do support regular Wi-Fi 6).

That new standard utilizes the 6GHz spectrum to deliver speeds of up to 9.6Gbps across your home's network, helping all of your smart devices communicate more effectively. Wi-Fi 6E also supports additional wireless channels, meaning you'll be able to get more devices onto your network with less interference than before. That's particularly important in modern homes as it's not just smartphones and computers that continue to multiply, but other smart home gadgets are regularly clogging up home networks, too.

What is Wi-Fi 6, and should you buy a new router?

As it's a higher frequency than the existing 2.4Ghz or 5GHz frequencies used by current-generation routers, the range at which it can deliver a signal is a bit shorter, and higher frequencies are known to have worse performance between rooms since they have difficulty penetrating walls and floors. On the bright side, that means folks in larger housing structures, like apartments or condos, won't run the risk of every neighbor in the building trying to attach their devices to your network.

Wi-Fi 6 recently brought about improvements to home networks, and Wi-Fi 6E looks like it could be one of the most important improvements to home networks since the advent of easy home mesh systems. This new chipset from Broadcom also includes enhanced Bluetooth 5 radios inside which support antenna beamforming. That's a fancy term that simply means the chipset can utilize all three radios inside to find your wireless devices more quickly and efficiently, leading to faster pairing and better overall performance.

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Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu