By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
In November of 2020 the Government of Canada published their public consultation on releasing the 6 GHz band to unlicensed use – and remarkably, the Canadians are taking an even wider stance than the FCC on securing more spectrum for Wi-Fi. The consultation ends next week.
It is likely that Canada will release the full 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi later this year – and in the process, Canada may even be expanding on the FCC’s landmark decision of April 2020. The Government of Canada’s spectrum regulators are suggesting that the full 1200 MHz swath of spectrum in the 6 GHz band be released to low power indoor (LPI). The consultation document can be found here.
Add to this that Canada might even leap ahead of the US by also allowing the operation of very low power (VLP) portable devices – and idea originally championed by the FCC but still to be finalised in the US – across the full 1200 MHz of spectrum. Add to this that Canada is proposing a full 950 MHz of spectrum for standard power Wi-Fi operation under the application of an AFC database lookup scheme. That is 100 MHz more for standard power Wi-Fi than the FCC has thus far allocated.
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A slew of tech giants have filed their comments in support of the consultation including Apple, Qualcomm, Intel, and many others. Comments include a joint filing by the so-called ‘6USC’ consortium that comprises Broadcom, Amazon, Cisco, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and others. Apple has specifically stated that they do not consider the upper 6 GHz band at all suitable for IMT (mobile) applications – a point that mobile interest groups have been attempting to push across the world. Read more about our take on the issue of IMT in the 6 GHz band here.
A mobile interest group comprising leading Canadian mobile telcos Rogers and Telus as well as tech vendors Huawei, Nokia, Ericsson, and Samsung have filed comments countering the current proposed rulemaking for releasing all of the 6 GHz band. With the Americas including the US and very probably also in short order Brazil leaning strongly towards full 6 GHz release, we’re betting on Canada releasing the full band and more. See the full list of respondents here.