FCC votes unanimously to open 6 GHz for unlicensed use

Today the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to adopt rules making 1200 MHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band available for use by unlicensed technologies. There are tremendous benefits for both industry and consumers in making more available spectrum for use by unlicensed technologies, such as Wi-Fi, where it will permit more users to use it at high speeds at the same time. There are multiple technical benefits beyond greater capacity that come from having the additional spectrum and larger channels. For instance, Wi-Fi location tracking will be made more effective with the increase in channel capacity. 

According to the Wi-Fi Forward, the expansion of the Wi-Fi spectrum could provide $28.14 billion in economic value in 2025 if they only opened up the 5.9 GHz band, and a $153.75 billion expansion in economic value if the six GHz band was opened up as well.  The economic value is not only in the expansion of use cases for IoT and AR/VR devices, but also from the sales in new Wi-Fi equipment and savings gained from cellular traffic moved to Wi-Fi because of increased Wi-Fi speeds. The deployment in new spectrum also lowers the cost of deploying 5G infrastructure, due to the improved Wi-Fi networks being able to shoulder some of the traffic.

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Dan Lips
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Jessica Dang
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Alexiaa Jordan
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J. Scott McKaig
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