In April 2020, US telecoms regulator the FCC circulated draft rules permitting unlicensed devices to operate in the 6GHz band, a move initially applauded by consumer electronics firms, wireless broadband and portable device manufacturers for ushering in the age of Wi-Fi 6E – but these bodies are now warning of potential threats and delays to the roll-out of technology and services using the new standard.
On 6 April 2020, FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed rules would make 1,200MHz of spectrum available for use for unlicensed devices, a move that would share the spectrum with incumbent licensed services under rules crafted to protect the latter and to support both wireless operation types.
US businesses had lobbied the FCC for such regulation, trying to persuade the commission that such a large unlicensed allocation with seven 160MHz channels would have a dramatic impact on a number of industries.
The new standard could potentially bring nearly six times the total capacity in both 2.4 and 5 GHz, seven contiguous 160 MHz channels and less interference from legacy Wi-Fi devices.
This is said to translate into multigigabit Wi-Fi speeds and more devices performing optimally on a Wi-Fi network at once, supporting high-data-rate applications, including high-performance,