By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Wi-Fi usage is booming and we’ll soon need more spectrum. To that end Apple, Google, Facebook, Broadcom, Qualcomm and a slew of other tech leaders have filed this report with the FCC to push for more Wi-Fi spectrum – this time in the 6 GHz band.
The filing comes a few months after the FCC published its ‘Notice of Inquiry’ (read more here) on the prospects of making more spectrum available for Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz band. The band is currently being used mostly for point-to-point radio and some satellite services.
The filing points out that the prospective availability of 6 GHz for unlicensed use would coincide very nicely with the introduction of the new 802.11ax standard. The IEEE 802.11 task group has already voted to extend 802.11ax to include the 6 GHz band.
Wi-Fi is already contributing enormously to the US economy: The filing says that Wi-Fi will create $547 billion of economic value in 2017 alone and contribute $50 billion to the US GDP. The report also cites a study from Quotient Technologies (read more here) concluding that at least 500 MHz more Wi-Fi band is needed by 2020 just to keep up with demand.
On the complex and potentially contentious issue of how to protect incumbent users, the report suggests creating four new U-NII sub-bands. “This approach would allow the Commission to ensure that the technical rules and interference protections for each segment of the band are appropriate to incumbent operation,” the report says.
The Wi-Fi Alliance’s filing to the FCC on the same issue can be found here.