The FCC has authorized the first Wi-Fi device for use in the 6 GHz spectrum band that the commission recently opened. The unlicensed spectrum is between 5.925 and 7.125 GHz. The authorized device is a transmitter from Broadcom.
In a statement, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said that the authorization was the first manifestation of a move by the commission earlier this year to open 1,200 megahertz of spectrum to higher powered unlicensed use.
The new spectrum, the benefits illustrated during the pandemic and the emergence of Wi-Fi 6 augur good things for Wi-Fi, Pai said.
“[W]e’ve all seen how Wi-Fi has enabled everything from work-at-home to telehealth to remote learning to streaming and gaming” during the crisis, Pai said in the press release about the first authorized 6 GHz Wi-Fi device “Wi-Fi 6 will turbocharge each of these and more, and will also complement commercial 5G networks. Bottom line: The American consumer’s wireless experience is about to be transformed for the better.”
The commission made the 1,200 MHz of spectrum, which can also be used for fixed wireless, available in April. Pai said Wi-Fi 6 could be more than two-and-a-half times faster than previous iterations of the standards family. The move by the FCC increased the spectrum available for Wi-Fi by a factor of five.
The new rules authorize low power operations over the full 1,200 MHz and standard-power indoor and outdoor operations in 850 MHz of the band when used with an automated frequency coordination (AFC) system. An AFC helps avoid interference with incumbent services in the spectrum.