By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Last week Wi-Fi Alliance took the lead in enabling standard power 6 GHz Wi-Fi by establishing a new commercial subsidiary named Wi-Fi Alliance Services. The new company’s mission is to drive the fast adoption of standard power 6 GHz Wi-Fi across the US, Canada, and potentially elsewhere, the company says.
Standard power 6 GHz Wi-Fi constitutes a huge step up in coverage, performance, and deployment flexibility over existing low-power indoor 6 GHz Wi-Fi systems – and now Wi-Fi Alliance Services will provide the necessary AFC services to boost the Wi-Fi industry into the standard power 6 GHz Wi-Fi era. Wi-Fi Alliance Services will operate as a new commercial (for profit) subsidiary to deliver the needed AFC services to the broad Wi-Fi industry pending device and operator authorisations from national regulators, the company said in a press release here.
“Wi-Fi AFC is purpose-built for Wi-Fi equipment vendors and service providers aiming to deploy standard power or outdoor Wi-Fi devices in 6 GHz and will ensure protection of incumbent operations. Leading Wi-Fi equipment vendors are actively trialing service integration with the pre-commercial Wi-Fi AFC while awaiting device and operator authorisation by national regulatory authorities. Wi-Fi Alliance Services continues to accept new customers for initial back-end integration trials,” the new company says.
Standard power Wi-Fi with AFC has been part of US regulation since the FCC released its 6 GHz report and order in April of 2020. The AFC – or Automated Frequency Coordination – dynamic database lookup scheme was introduced by the FCC to make sure incumbent users of the 6 GHz band are protected against interference when higher Wi-Fi power levels are used. Today, work on testing and finalising FCC approvals of the first AFC services is proceeding at pace with the Wi-Fi Alliance taking the lead on many of the activities.
The introduction of AFC will allow standard power Wi-Fi operation across a total of 850 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum (UNII-5 and UNII-7 bands) – see graphic below.
“We’re excited to enable our customers ability to extract maximum value from the 6 GHz band, and to offer a service that delivers sustainable business value for customers across the globe. Wi-Fi Alliance Services is emerging on the cusp of another Wi-Fi revolution – and we are happy to bring this scalable, high-performance, and highly extensible service to Wi-Fi equipment vendors and service providers to experience standard power 6 GHz Wi-Fi benefits,” says Kevin Robinson, President & CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance Services. Kevin Robinson is also President & CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance.
Wi-Fi Alliance Services will likely not be alone in offering commercial AFC services. In November of last year the FCC conditionally approved 13 companies and organisations as AFC operators. It is not clear how many of these – many of them vendors – will eventually offer the services, commercial or not. For now we are aware that at least Federated Wireless also has intentions of delivering AFC as a SaaS.
Enjoying this story?
Leave your email here and we'll get you all the latest Wi-Fi news.