Google has a new device awaiting FCC approval, and all signs point to it being an updated Nest Wifi router that not only addresses the noticeable lack of Wi-Fi 6 in its latest model but jump ahead to Wi-Fi 6E.
In FCC documents available yesterdayGoogle asked the FCC to keep it confidential its schematics and operational details, including an “Internal Proprietary Antenna Solution consisting of 6 antennas”. As has been pointed out by android policethe presentations also show support for the Wi-Fi 6E 6GHz frequencies. There are also the standard 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, Bluetooth Low-Energy, and the 2.4 GHz frequencies that the Thread smart home connection standard is based on.
The model number, A4R-G6ZUC, is similar to other Nest products and 9to5Google says it’s confirmed that this is the number of the next Nest Wifi router.
end of 2019, when Google skipped Wi-Fi 6 for Nest WifiCiting (questionable) cost concerns, we noted that a Wi-Fi 6 router wouldn’t do much for a house filled with mostly Wi-Fi 5 and 4 (ie 802.11ac and 802.11n) devices. And yet, if Nest’s router and points had used Wi-Fi 6, their ability to use this newly freed-up spectrum space to talk to newer devices, and especially for node-to-node return traffic movement , could have benefited noisy homes. devices or those that compete with the equipment of nearby neighbors.
It’s the same story with Wi-Fi 6E. There is a small list of devices using the relatively recent Wi-Fi 6E at the moment: the pixel 6 Y 6a, Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultrasome new laptops (not including latest MacBook Air)and any PC that upgrade with a 6E card. Wi-Fi 6E also allows devices to use the wider 80 and 160 MHz channels, increasing capacity and reducing interference.
It’s worth noting that this FCC filing is for a Nest Wifi only. router. It’s unclear if Google will offer Nest hubs with built-in speakers, like with the previous Nest Wifi. One more notable upgrade that Google could latch onto to the new Nest hubs would be Ethernet ports, something sorely missing from the current generation.
In our Nest Wifi benchmark review, we were impressed with Nest’s coverage of a difficult 3,500-square-foot designer home, but found plenty of room for improvement. Given the other options available at the same price, it seemed like a more suitable option for those who are already enthusiastic about Google Assistant speakers.
By the time Nest Wifi arrives (likely at a Google hardware event in October), there will probably be some strong Wi-Fi 6E mesh competition. We’ll see if the product has the same value proposition then.