By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman.
South Korea could become the first country in Asia to release the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi. Yesterday South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSICT) issued a proposed ‘amendment of technical standards,’ which could lead to Korean 6 GHz Wi-Fi adoption already this year, sources say.
The momentum behind global adoption of 6 GHz Wi-Fi is increasing by the day: Yesterday, South Korea’s Ministry of Science and ICT (MSICT) released a ‘proposed amendment of technical standards’ – meaning proposed new regulation – for public consultation. This means South Korea is now likely leading the race to become the first country in Asia to adopt 6 GHz Wi-Fi. It could happen already this year, sources say. The full public consultation announcement can be found here.
The release of the amendment document – which describes the proposed new rules for 6 GHz Wi-Fi in South Korea – means the public consultation period is now in effect and will last until August 24. Alex Roytblat, Senior Director of Regulatory Affairs at Wi-Fi Alliance, says he is hopeful that South Korea’s release of the 6 GHz band could come later this year.
And there are more reasons to believe that a quick decision on releasing 6 GHz to Wi-Fi in South Korea could be imminent. This Korean news source claims the entire band – meaning 5925-7125 MHz – will open for indoor operation in September of this year, while outdoor use will follow in 2022 (unlike for example in Europe where only the lower 500 MHz of the band are being considered). The source of this information is – says the local news source – the MSICT itself.
South Korea’s pro-active step towards 6 GHz Wi-Fi comes as no surprise as the country – including both major service providers SK Telecom and Korea Telecom – have traditionally been well ahead of the curve in introducing new Wi-Fi and mobile technology, including Wi-Fi 6. SK Telecom announced ‘commercialisation’ of Wi-Fi 6 as early as during fall of 2018. South Korea is also one of the first countries to successfully adopt mobile 5G technology.
If South Korea becomes the first country in Asia to adopt 6 GHz Wi-Fi, it would also likely become the third or fourth country in the world to release the band. Consultations are right now underway in the UK and Brazil, while Europe (CEPT countries) are likely to adopt the new regulation next year.