Uneven Allocation of the 6 GHz Spectrum Globally May Impede the Uptake of Wi-Fi 6E

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By Andrew Spivey | 1Q 2022 | IN-6457

 

The Ongoing Debate Over the Allocation of the 6 GHz Spectrum for Unlicensed Use

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In February 2022, the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA) submitted a letter to the Australian Minister for Communications arguing that the country must set aside the full 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz spectrum for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. This follows a late 2021 policy position paper by the Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association (AMTA), which had recommended that the Australian Government reserve just the lower 500 MHz of the spectrum for unlicensed Wi-Fi, with the remainder going to licensed Cellular. This debate is ongoing in Australia, with talk of not making the final decision on the upper 6 GHz band until the ITU’s World Radio Conference in late 2023. This dispute between Wi-Fi and cellular mirrors debates that have been had and are ongoing in countries worldwide: how much, if any, of the 6 GHz spectrum should be allocated for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. The deliberations and inconsistencies in final allocations between countries have severe implications for the uptake of Wi-Fi 6E.

Current State of the Global Allocatio…

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