Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

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Alex4161
I'm a Reliable Contributor
Posts: 404

Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

Hello Everyone,

 

After doing a factory reset of my Ignite Modem (I was having issues with the Rogers Ignite TV service), I see that for 5 Ghz, it only is using Channel 44.  Why is it not working with the high channels that are spec'd to handle higher output?

 

Industry canada came out with these info in 2015 as listed here: https://www.semfionetworks.com/blog/industry-canada-new-5ghz-band-regulations

 

Also, according to this site, the output power is higher on the higher channels:  https://www.engeniustech.com/go-guide-channel-transmit-power-wi-fi-networks-2/

 

How do I go into the router and change the channel?  It all seems greyed out.  The current setup is using the same SSID name for 2.4 and 5 Ghz and I suspect band steering is on (don't see where this is set) and devices that can support 5 Ghz are moved to this automatically. 

 

I understand the need for making connections easier for people who don't know what they are doing.  The problem (from what I am seeing) is that the defaults are not making the most out of the signal strength out of the modem by defaulting to a lower channel. 

 

Please let me know if there is something that I am missing here... 

 

Thank you.

 

*Added Labels*

-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 1,949

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

@Alex4161  That information is not documented anywhere, at least not in anything available publicly to us.  Are you using Pods?  If so, the XB6 might use the lower 5 Ghz channels so that WiFi clients are more likely to connect to Pods.

 

I don't have Pods in my setup and when I last had WiFi enabled on my XB6, it auto-selected channel 157.

 

In reality, using a lower channel with a lower power level is not entirely bad.  Remember that the WiFi Access Point is only one side of the connection.  At the other end, you may have a mobile device with a low-power transmitter that may not be able to maintain a stable connection even if the Ignite gateway is using a higher-frequency/higher-power 5 GHz channels.

 

I actually try to use lower-power 5 GHz channels to minimize interference to my neighbours.



Alex4161
I'm a Reliable Contributor
Posts: 404

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

Hi.

I don't use the Pods as I found them to be pretty poorly setup. I prefer having the STRONGEST signal from the modem so that I can get the max speed for my services. I could not be bothered with the Neighbours who are on BELL
RogersMike
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 25

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

Hello @Alex4161 

 

I can understand the importance of having a strong WiFi throughout the house. In this case, since you prefer not to have the WiFi Mesh System installed the other option would be to re-locate the modem to a more central location in the house in the hopes of optimizing the WiFi performance overall. 

 

Please keep us posted.

 

Kind Regards,

RogersMike

Alex4161
I'm a Reliable Contributor
Posts: 404

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

Hi RogersMike,

The modem is already in the best place. I still am trying to see how to change the channel number as it appears to be blocked.
-G-
Resident Expert
Resident Expert
Posts: 1,949

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

@Alex4161  With the Ignite WiFi Hub active, you will lose access to some configuration settings in the XB6 gateway's web management UI.  However, if you don't have any Pods installed or associated with your account, you should still be able to configure the 2.4 and 5 GHz WiFi channels either through the Ignite WiFi mobile app or by logging into https://ignitewifi.rogers.com/



Alex4161
I'm a Reliable Contributor
Posts: 404

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

I can't seem to find a way to configure this
RogersTony
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 1,197

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

Hello, @Alex4161

 

I have tested this on my end using various methods and there does not seem to be a way to adjust the channels on the WiFi bands. The modem will automatically determine the best channel based on its environment.

 

I have tested this with band steering on and off and it is still greyed out in the XB6 admin page as well as the Ignite WiFi Hub app. You will need to use a third-party router in order to make specific changes to the WiFi channels. While these setups do work with Ignite TV for many customers, it is not one that is recommended or supported by Rogers.

 

I know this may not be the answer you were hoping to hear. 😞

 

RogersTony

 

 

 

 

Datalink
Resident Expert
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Posts: 7,209

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

@RogersTony is there an Auto Channel enable/disable in the wifi settings?  If so, have you tried this with the Auto Channel disabled?

 

If the XB6 modems are all locked into the lower 5 Ghz channel range, that would explain why customers have been complaining about poor wifi performance of these modems.  Locking the XB6 modems into the lower 5 Ghz channel range results in a max conducted power output of 200 milli-watts.  The higher channel range, 149 to 165 has a 1 watt max conducted power output.  

 

The submissions to Industry Canada for these modems can be seen here:

 

https://communityforums.rogers.com/t5/Ignite-TV/XB6-Channels-and-Power-levels/m-p/448135#M3409

 

Note the lower power levels in the 5.18 to 5.24 Mhz range for channels 36 to 48 and the higher output levels for the 5.745 to 5.825 Mhz range for channels 149 to 165.  Those power levels reflect the transmit power levels as required by Industry Canada.  

 

The power levels can also be seen in the following Semifio page:

 

https://www.semfionetworks.com/blog/5ghz-band-channel-availability-in-canada

 

So, if the XB6 wifi channels and pods channels (?) are locked into the lower 5 Ghz channel range, that could definitely pose problems for those customers with large modem to device distances.  If you're a XB6 user, you should probably be annoyed to say the least.  I can think of more appropriate words.  

 

If you're anyone else, you should be overjoyed as its less competition in the higher 5 Ghz channel range.  

 

Personally speaking, as someone who doesn't use an XB6, I'm very happy.  If it never gets fixed, all the better. 

 

Ok, so now for the question, @RogersIan how does this ever pass company testing?  Or, if its seen in the pre-release testing, why isn't this brought up in the instructions for the modems, as in "Note to customers:  XB6 modems are restricted to the lower 5 Ghz channels which reduces the maximum operating range from the modem".

 

Just to note, the U.S. FCC allows a max conducted output power of 1 watt in the lower 5 Ghz band, so, if Comcast designed the modem's firmware so that they were limited to lower 5 Ghz channels, as long as you're a U.S. customer, it won't matter to you.  If you're a Canadian customer, its a big deal as it results in a greatly reduced operating range from the modem.  

 

I leave it for @RogersIan and @RogersTony to sort this out and present the results to the customers. 



-G-
Resident Expert
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Posts: 1,949

Re: Why does the Ignite Modem only use lower channels for 5 Ghz?

@Datalink  All that @RogersTony  said is that the channels cannot currently be set explicitly in the app.

 

The XB6 is perfectly capable of using the higher channels.  I am currently using my own "unsupported" WiFi gear and have my XB6 configured to use one of the DFS channels so that I do not take away prime spectrum from others.  (I do not use the Ignite WiFi Hub web site or mobile app.)

 

There are also cases where using the higher-powered channels causes more harm than good.  Setting higher-power channels on an AP is unhelpful if the WiFi client has a weak transmitter.  If a link can be maintained, it will use an encoding with a very low data rate that will consume more air time when the device is transmitting or receiving data.  WiFi is a shared collision domain.  Only one device can transmit on a channel at a time; others have to wait for clear airspace.  If you have too many actively-transmitting devices with marginal connections, it will kill your WiFi performance.  I'm not saying that the higher-power channels do not have their purpose.  They do, but they can also often cause more problems than they solve.

 

I don't know why Auto channel selection would select the lower (and lower-powered) channels.  Auto channel selection also has its purposes, and you really do need to use it if you have a mesh network with many Pods.