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Earlier this month, CommScope was named a Wi-Fi Alliance 2020 Industry Impact Award recipient, joining other industry notables like Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft. The award recognizes outstanding member companies who have collaborated extensively in Wi-Fi Alliance and made significant contributions to the organization’s mission and the Wi-Fi industry over the last year.
Companies that received this year’s Industry Impact Award have had a ‘material impact’ in gaining 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi 6 and enabling Wi-Fi 6E to become a reality.
“This award distinguishes outstanding member companies who have made significant contributions to the Wi-Fi Alliance mission and the Wi-Fi industry over the last year,” said Edgar Figueroa President and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. “We are particularly grateful for CommScope’s contributions to 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum. This award exemplifies dedication to high quality Wi-Fi and to advancing the Wi-Fi experience.”
Wi-Fi 6E Becomes a Reality
On April 1, 2020, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his proposal for new rules to enable unlicensed operation in 1200 MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band (from 5925 to 7125 MHz). This effectively increases the amount of prime mid-band Wi-Fi spectrum by nearly 500%. The IEEE will utilize this ‘greenfield’ unlicensed spectrum for a new generation of Wi-Fi 6 devices, which Wi-Fi Alliance and the industry will refer to as Wi-Fi 6E.
Following the FCC’s announcement, CommScope CTO Morgan Kurk commended Chairman Pai and the FCC for their plans to make the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed operation. Indeed, the wireless industry requires more spectrum to enable wider channel bandwidths, which in turn, is expected to usher in the multi-gigabit age. The recent move by the FCC will give unlicensed services the capacity and capability to drive new innovative applications.
Wi-Fi 6E in the Enterprise
Wi-Fi 6E availability for the enterprise will support many new use cases. Within entertainment venues and classrooms, we will see the rise of ultra-immersive, ultra-low latency VR/AR streaming services. In telemedicine, hyper-detailed, real-time imaging can bolster support for remote healthcare services that aren’t possible today. In dense multi-dwelling units (MDUs) and dorms – where congestion and interference are the norm – the vast amount of spectrum will enable everyone to be online at breakneck speeds simultaneously.
Even service providers will benefit from this new spectrum, using it in coordination with licensed spectrum to offload data from the macro-network.
Wi-Fi 6E in the Home
Wi-Fi 6E will drive new ‘all home’ wireless architectures. In MDUs – where congestion caused by multiple access points from multiple units limits capacity for everyone – the new spectrum will allow a “clean channel” approach to each apartment. In single family homes, Wi-Fi 6E’s channel bandwidth of up to 320MHz can be used as a multi gigabit backbone. This backbone can replace the cabling entirely and provide enough capacity to put access points wherever needed for both coverage and capacity. In addition to a speed boost, Wi-Fi 6 offers an improvement in determinism and lower latency of the traffic to devices which are critical parameters for future applications like VR and AR.