The Federal Communications Commission has approved a new category of very low power devices to use the 6GHz band. This move is expected to bring a wave of tech innovations, from wearable gadgets to advanced AR and VR applications.
A boost for next-gen Wi-Fi and IoT
The 6GHz spectrum is pivotal for the future of Wi-Fi. The FCC’s recent expansion of unlicensed use in this band has already facilitated the rise of Wi-Fi 6E and set the stage for the upcoming Wi-Fi 7. This decision also plays a significant role in the growth of the Internet of Things.
The latest rules allow devices to operate at very low power across short distances, providing ultra-fast connection speeds. Such capabilities are perfect for high-data rate applications that promise to enhance user experiences and drive economic growth. However, the FCC has ensured these devices adhere to strict power limits and other technical criteria to coexist seamlessly with existing services in the 6GHz band.
Balancing innovation and regulation
In 2019, leading tech companies, including Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, petitioned the FCC for access to the 6GHz band.
While the decision is a nod to tech innovation, it also emphasizes the importance of regulation. The FCC’s rules permit operations in specific segments of the 6GHz band, ensuring no interference with licensed incumbent operations. Furthermore, the Commission has proposed extending these operations across the entire band, provided they use a geofencing system to prevent interference.