By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
A document filed with the FCC Tuesday shows support for full-width 6 GHz Wi-Fi gathering momentum: A total of 33 companies and organisations – many of them household names in consumer electronics and Internet services – have launched an emphatic and well-argued appeal to the FCC to release all of 1.2 GHz of spectrum to Wi-Fi and fend off parts of the industry wanting to set aside parts of 6 GHz as licensed bands.
Support for 6 GHz Wi-Fi is growing and gathering momentum: It started with less than a dozen consumer electronics and Internet giants and as of yesterday has grown to include 33 companies and organisations. The group is now arguing fervently and convincingly that all of the 1.2 GHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band should be released to Wi-Fi.
The group – which includes Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Comcast, Charter, Broadcom, and many more – say they “urge the Commission to designate all 1200 megahertz of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, with appropriate measures to ensure incumbent licensees are protected from harmful interference.” The filing comes in response to opposing forces advocating for first clearing and since licensing parts of the 6 GHz band. Read the full filing here.
The group warns that “licensing a portion of this band would undermine, not support, our next-generation wireless future” by pointing to the role of Wi-Fi in carrying by far the majority of smartphone traffic today and an even greater proportion in the future. The group also points out that no new Wi-Fi spectrum has been allocated since before the advent of the smartphone.
The filing comes in response to competing industry factions proposing to clear a part of the 6 GHz band for licensing by moving incumbent users to a higher 7125-8400 MHz band as yet unstudied for sharing. The Wi-Fi proponents say that entertaining any such scheme would “threaten to grind this mid-band unlicensed allocation to a halt.”
The FCC is expected by most to issue a final ruling on the 6 GHz band within the first half of this year. For more about recent advances in Wi-Fi 6E chipset technology, also see our latest news reports on the first 6 GHz Wi-Fi chipset for mobile phones here and our editorial on 6 GHz Wi-Fi here.