Wi-Fi 6E is coming: FCC unanimously votes to open 6 GHz spectrum

nanoguy

Posts: 733   +12
Staff member

Today, the Federal Communications Commission unanimously voted to open up a sizeable chunk of radio spectrum in the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use. The decision is a crucial first step for the Wi-Fi 6E standard moving forward, and it comes at a time when everything we do depends a lot on having a stable internet connection with plenty of bandwidth.

The new rules make 1,200 MHz of spectrum available for Wi-Fi, and will authorize two use cases for unlicensed operations within that space. One will allow in-door, low-power devices such as next-generation routers and smart home devices. The other will allow outdoor devices and systems to operate at standard power levels in 850 MHz of that band.

There have been concerns from the members of CTIA, who represent the wireless communications industry, that the outdoor use case could cause interference with cellular point-to-point backhaul, which is the link between mobile towers and the core, wired network.

FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly addressed those concerns noting that outdoor use of the 6 GHz band will be governed by an automated frequency coordination system (AFC) that was developed in conjunction with tech giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Qualcomm. As for low-power indoor devices, studies done by the Office of Engineering and Technology haven't found any reason to use AFC.

Commissioner Geoffrey Starks believes the decision to make 1,200 MHz of the 6 GHz spectrum available will be especially beneficial for Americans with no broadband at home. Furthermore, people who can't afford to upgrade their equipment will see less crowding in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands as people with the means to do so will gradually move on to solutions that work in the 6 GHz band.

The FCC says that while it may not look like it, opening up enough space for several 160 MHz channels (and eventually 320 MHz for Wi-Fi 7) is a big deal, and will not only give 5G-like capability to Wi-Fi, but also accelerate nationwide 5G deployments. Various organizations such as Charter, Comcast, Google, Public Knowledge, and the Wi-Fi Alliance have applauded the decision.

The first devices to make use of the newly opened spectrum are expected toward the end of this year. You can read more about Wi-Fi 6E and how it is different from Wi-Fi 6 here.

And there's still more to come, as the FCC is working on extensions to the new rules that will allow very low power devices to operate outdoors without the need for automated frequency control, which is going to be a crucial ingredient in the proliferation of wearables like AR headsets and smartwatches.

It's also worth noting that experts believe three quarters of all mobile data traffic will be offloaded to Wi-Fi by 2022, and the number of public hotspots will increase 300 percent by then. This is expected to enable a rapid adoption of Wi-Fi 6E devices that could contribute over $100 billion in total economic value over the next 5 years thanks to increased broadband speeds and faster deployment of the Internet of Things.

Permalink to story.

 

Vulcanproject

Posts: 1,332   +2,315
Sometimes with announcements like this it blows my mind how far the internet has come in 30 years. It's now significant, virtually mainstream news that end consumers get more Wifi spectrum.

In less than half a lifetime the internet has gone from nothing anyone outside of a university lab knew the slightest thing about to what feels like the most influential and powerful technology in the world.

Even inventions like the motor vehicle or powered aircraft didn't change the world as quickly as the internet has.
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
Sometimes with announcements like this it blows my mind how far the internet has come in 30 years. It's now significant, virtually mainstream news that end consumers get more Wifi spectrum.

In less than half a lifetime the internet has gone from nothing anyone outside of a university lab knew the slightest thing about to what feels like the most influential and powerful technology in the world.

Even inventions like the motor vehicle or powered aircraft didn't change the world as quickly as the internet has.
Let's be honest 99%still have no Clue about the difference from the term WiFi and internet
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +729
And yet the bottleneck will remain the same, the connection from the modem to the internet. I still see no valid reason for faster wifi when the majority of the country still has internet speeds below what wireless N can provide and wireless ac covers the rest for those lucky few.
 

Uncle Al

Posts: 8,001   +6,775
Sometimes with announcements like this it blows my mind how far the internet has come in 30 years. It's now significant, virtually mainstream news that end consumers get more Wifi spectrum.

In less than half a lifetime the internet has gone from nothing anyone outside of a university lab knew the slightest thing about to what feels like the most influential and powerful technology in the world.

Even inventions like the motor vehicle or powered aircraft didn't change the world as quickly as the internet has.

And as a boy I can still clearly remember sitting at the kitchen table and building my first crystal set. No power, a single channel and you needed a single ear piece to listen to it. MAJOR upgrade was rigging a 9 volt battery with a speaker/amp so more than one person could listen ..... of course I was also amazed when I was able to double the memory of my first computer from 8K to 16K ..... LOL .... yes, that was AFTER the dinosaurs, thank you very much.
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
And yet the bottleneck will remain the same, the connection from the modem to the internet. I still see no valid reason for faster wifi when the majority of the country still has internet speeds below what wireless N can provide and wireless ac covers the rest for those lucky few.
Compare it to the Ethernet standards.. 1gig is now hurting.. there is a 2.5 5,and 10gig standards. Nothing wrong with advancing the max. Most new products won't utilize all the frequency because it Will be more expensive. In the end it helps all when more bandwidth is opened up.
 

tkabou

Posts: 123   +136
And yet no one's analyzing the health effects, just plowing through the spectrum with no regard for the health and safety of its citizens. Remarkable...ignorance and/or stupidity, on both the side of the FCC (not surprising) and the consumer.
 

candle_86

Posts: 729   +729
Compare it to the Ethernet standards.. 1gig is now hurting.. there is a 2.5 5,and 10gig standards. Nothing wrong with advancing the max. Most new products won't utilize all the frequency because it Will be more expensive. In the end it helps all when more bandwidth is opened up.

To who? I do plenty of home support, 99% of folks don't max out a 100mbs connection. Most people don't have home servers for media streaming. Those of us that do also have them on a hard line already, and for my home server I never come close to using my gigabit connection except when I do backups to it, which happen overnight, and even then I'm still limited by the speed of spinning disks before I max out my connection. For Enterprise customers maybe but I've yet to see a database server, file server, ECT using WiFi.
 

0dium

Posts: 193   +226
To who? I do plenty of home support, 99% of folks don't max out a 100mbs connection. Most people don't have home servers for media streaming. Those of us that do also have them on a hard line already, and for my home server I never come close to using my gigabit connection except when I do backups to it, which happen overnight, and even then I'm still limited by the speed of spinning disks before I max out my connection. For Enterprise customers maybe but I've yet to see a database server, file server, ECT using WiFi.
For people in the future. First new limits are introduced and then technology is moving towards them, not the other way around. Remember 640kb is more than anyone will ever need?
 

0dium

Posts: 193   +226
I'm curious about wall penetration. I don't use 5ghz because it's barely usable outside of one room.
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,062   +2,056
I'm curious about wall penetration. I don't use 5ghz because it's barely usable outside of one room.
What? Everything in our house is on 5Ghz and we have a single AP at the top of our landing and it not only covers every room but reaches to the end of the drive and garden.

You sure you don't just have a rubbish AP? Or the power output is set too low?
 

HugsNotDrugs

Posts: 31   +16
I'm excited to add 6ghz WiFi but I'm tired to manually selecting fixed channels that some yahoo next door later selects for his thereby causing interference and performance degredation. Why can't these devices auto-negotiate channels?
 

Burty117

Posts: 4,062   +2,056
I'm excited to add 6ghz WiFi but I'm tired to manually selecting fixed channels that some yahoo next door later selects for his thereby causing interference and performance degredation. Why can't these devices auto-negotiate channels?
My Unifi AP moves channel and has even ignored my settings on channel width if there's too much interference (I was pushing my luck on that which isn't the AP's fault).

My old Asus Router used to switch channel if needed when I used to live in a block of flats.

My old old Netgear Router used to switch Channels if it was needed.

How old is your Router/AP to not be able to swap Channels automatically?
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
I'm excited to add 6ghz WiFi but I'm tired to manually selecting fixed channels that some yahoo next door later selects for his thereby causing interference and performance degredation. Why can't these devices auto-negotiate channels?
Most change when rebooted.
 

bandit8623

Posts: 265   +153
I'm excited to add 6ghz WiFi but I'm tired to manually selecting fixed channels that some yahoo next door later selects for his thereby causing interference and performance degredation. Why can't these devices auto-negotiate channels?
Also sometimes lowering your width from 80mhz to 40 can help with less overlap. I know you lose maximum speed but may be more stable..