Among Samsung’s launch of three new smartphones Thursday is the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is the first Wi-Fi 6E phone, according to Broadcom. The company is supplying its BCM4389 chip for the device.
Samsung’s new Galaxy line-up includes the Galaxy S21, the Galaxy S21 Plus and the high-end Galaxy S21 Ultra. The Ultra retails for $1,199, but all the national U.S. carriers are offering special deals.
The “6E” designation means the device can “extend” into the 6 GHz band, which the FCC recently approved for unlicensed operations in the U.S. The 6 GHz band is considered “pristine” spectrum, in part because it’s not already saddled with a bunch of users like the overtaxed 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
Wi-Fi 6 is the latest generation of Wi-Fi, and it just so happens to coincide with the availability of the 6 GHz band, where momentum is building around the world, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance.
In fact, Broadcom said the U.S. and South Korea have tripled the available Wi-Fi spectrum by opening up 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use. The expansion creates seven additional 160 MHz channels.
Samsung hinted last week that it was looking forward to introducing new Galaxy devices that take advantage of the increased speeds, reduced latency and expanded bandwidth that comes with frequencies in the 6 GHz band.
“We are truly excited about this partnership with Broadcom in bringing a seamless and secure connected experience to our Galaxy users,” said JM Choi, VP and head of
Broadcomm also said the BCM4389 was the world’s first Wi-Fi chip authorized by the FCC to operate in the 6 GHz band. In addition to Wi-Fi 6E, Broadcom’s BCM4389’s Tri-Band Simultaneous (TBS) connectivity architecture brings better Wi-Fi QoS, more precise indoor location accuracy and five times better battery compared to current flagship connectivity solutions, according to the company.
“We are honored to have collaborated with Samsung to enable the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E phone,” said Vijay Nagarajan, vice president of marketing for the Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division at Broadcom, in a statement. “Back in 2019, our partnership in launching Wi-Fi 6 in Samsung Galaxy S10 kick-started a technology transition that has resulted in around half-a-billion Wi-Fi 6 devices in the world today. Today, this partnership has made the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra a showcase for the immersive possibilities with Wi-Fi 6E, and a harbinger for the technological disruptions that await us with Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz band.”
Article updated January 16 with corrected retail pricing of the Ultra.