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WiFi needs more spectrum, says Dynamic Spectrum Alliance

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A new study urges authorities to urgently release the 6GHz frequency band to enable the deployment of a new generation of WiFi technology, which it says will support the modern digital ecosystem.

The study by the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) and Policy Impact Partners (PIP), which represent multiple digital companies, focused on Europe (EU), the Middle East and Africa, and calls upon governments in the regions to open the lower 6GHz band (5 925MHz − 6 425MHz) and consider licence-exempt access to the upper 6GHz band (6 425MHz – 7 125MHz).

“Used for every aspect in our lives such as remote education, work and commerce, WiFi needs greater spectrum access in the 6GHz band, to effectively support the modern digital ecosystem,” says Dr Martha Suárez, president of the DSA.

“With access to wide 160MHz channels in the 6GHz band, WiFi 6E will be able to deliver very robust connectivity that can enable truly immersive and compelling multimedia experiences.”

The DSA says to enable the world to fully benefit from WiFi 6E – a new generation of WiFi technology – governments should make the 6GHz band available for usage by licence-exempt technologies.

According to the study, WiFi 6 enables an efficient use of the spectrum in terms of access, ensuring existing incumbent services can continue to thrive in the band, while meeting the growing demand for wireless capacity with more throughput, connected devices and coverage.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the critical need to bring reliable broadband to many more people and communities,” adds Herman Schepers, founder and director of PIP.

“That won’t happen unless both licensed and licence-exempt wireless technologies have access to the spectrum they need. People should have the flexibility to use the technology best suited to their budget, their use case and other local factors, whether that be 4G, 5G, WiFi or another unlicensed technology.”

Further, the study says if countries across the world were to enable licence-exempt access to the entire 1 200MHz of the 6GHz band, the global digital ecosystem would benefit from major economies of scale.

“This would reduce costs for end-users and allow people to benefit from innovative new services that harness the capabilities of WiFi 6E. Countries that have opted for a rapid deployment of 5G, such as South Korea and the US, recognise the need to allow licence-exempt access to the entire 6GHz band.”

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