The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology has conditionally approved thirteen proposed automated frequency coordination (AFC) database systems to finalize development for operations in the 6 GHz band and prepare for the testing phase. These automated frequency coordination (AFC) systems manage spectrum access for 6 GHz band standard-power unlicensed devices. This will pave the way for much faster Wi-Fi access, including Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7.
“American businesses and households rely on Wi-Fi for work, school, access to healthcare, and connecting with friends and family,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We are moving forward on our plan to open doors for next generation, faster, better Wi-Fi – including Wi-Fi 6E and laying the groundwork for Wi-Fi 7. This is good news and real progress.”
The FCC’s recent rule changes expanded unlicensed use in the 5.925-6.425 GHz and 6.525-6.875 GHz portions of the 6 GHz band to allow standard-power devices under the control of an AFC. New applications often require greater throughput which this additional spectrum coupled with higher power will deliver. Wi-Fi 6E builds upon previous Wi-Fi updates and makes use of wider channels to provide gigabit-plus speeds, more simultaneous connections, and better security.
The recently released Public Notice conditionally approved AFC systems proposed by Broadcom, Google, Comsearch, Sony Group, Kyrio, Key Bridge Wireless, Nokia Innovations, Federated Wireless, Wireless Broadband Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA), Qualcomm, Plume Design, and RED Technologies. The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology evaluates proposals for AFC systems that will be used by Wi-Fi devices in the 6 GHz band – including Wi-Fi 6E, the next generation of faster, better Wi-Fi. Unlicensed devices operating at standard power levels will use the AFC systems to adjust operating parameters to protect microwave links that operate in the band from harmful interference.
As applicants move forward with their systems, the testing process will include both lab testing and an opportunity for public testing. Today’s Public Notice details which labs are approved for testing these systems and how other labs can be approved. During this public trial phase, each AFC system applicant will be required to make its system available for a specified period of time (e.g. 30 days) to provide an opportunity for members of the public to test each AFC system’s functionality.
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