Syracuse University Enhances Wireless Networks with Wi-Fi 6E Technology

By: Jessica Houghtaling

Syracuse University is among a handful of early adopter college campuses to upgrade to Wi-Fi 6E, which delivers speeds closer to wired Ethernet. As of early September, nearly 50 buildings either have Wi-Fi 6E or are scheduled to have it activated by 2024. Devices that support 6 GHz can take advantage of this technology by connecting to the AirOrangeX, SUAD and eduroam wireless networks.

Wi-Fi 6E is part of the 802.11ax standard, which also delivers Wi-Fi 6 to non-6 GHz capable client devices. This is also a significant upgrade from the campus’s legacy Wi-Fi 5 environment for all wireless networks.
Information Technology Services (ITS) staff members have already observed impressive throughputs in the new Wi-Fi 6E spectrum. Throughput measures the amount of data moving through a system or network during a given amount of time.

“Wi-Fi 6E brings hundreds of megahertz of new channel possibilities,” ITS architect Lee Badman said.

If you think of it like a road, Wi-Fi 6E is a new, faster road that gets you to the same place and frees up space on other roads. Even though only devices that support 6 GHz can connect to Wi-Fi 6E, all devices will benefit from reduced traffic.

Testing for the 6E network completed in 2021, followed by a phased rollout in 2022. The upgrade will replace 4,500 legacy access points and is expected to finish in 2024.

Among the buildings that have Wi-Fi 6E access are: Bird Library, the Center for Science and Technology, the Life Sciences Complex, Maxwell Hall, the Whitman School of Management, The Barnes Center, Dineen Hall, Falk Hall, Hinds Hall and more. Wi-Fi 6E also is in Shaw Hall, Haven Hall, Lawrinson Hall, Washington Arms and others.

Additional wireless network options for the Syracuse University community include the Gadgets&Games network for streaming devices in University residence halls and the private cellular network, which launched as a pilot in 2022. A full list of network options is available on Answers.