Wi-Fi Alliance’s Stance on Spectrum Allocation
The Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) urges policymakers to recognize Wi-Fi’s contribution to environmental sustainability at the 2023 WRC. This issue is especially relevant in Europe. The EU has allocated a portion of the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi. The higher segment remains occupied.
Upcoming Debates on the 6 GHz Band
In the forthcoming WRC, policymakers will discuss the upper 6 GHz band’s designation for mobile installations. The Wi-Fi Alliance warns that choosing it for 5G/IMT might harm Wi-Fi and environmental efforts. The WFA recently spotlighted a WIK-Consult paper. It shows the benefits of full 6 GHz access for
Impact on Environmental Sustainability
The 56-page report reveals potential consequences of limited Wi-Fi spectrum. A 15% data shift to 5G networks could happen. This could lead to a 16% rise in energy consumption. Europe might then see 3.2 megatons more CO2 emissions yearly.
“That’s what we wanted to point out to Europe. Most of the policymakers that I hear are so committed to environmental sustainability. But when we go to spectrum policy, that somehow is not carried through by some policymakers in Europe or elsewhere. We think that this report may be informative to them to kind of reconsider some of their positions as they go into WRC.”Alex Roytblat, VP of Worldwide Regulatory Affairs at WFA based in Washington, D.C.
Differences Between Cellular and Wi-Fi Signals
Cellular and Wi-Fi signals have distinct characteristics. Cellular signals traverse walls to connect with indoor devices. In contrast, Wi-Fi signals remain closer to users, providing more direct communication.
The FCC’s Move Towards Unlicensed Use
The WFA encourages countries to follow the US’s lead on the 6 GHz spectrum. In 2020, the FCC proposed 1,200 megahertz of the 6 GHz range for unlicensed usage. Unlicensed devices can work alongside licensed services, like microwave utilities.
Specifications on Device Operations and AFC System
The entire 1,200 megahertz spectrum allows indoor low-power operations. Standard-power devices can use 850 megahertz in the 6 GHz band. An automated frequency coordination system is in development to prevent interference.
Update on AFC Testing Phase
The FCC has conditionally approved around 12 organizations for AFC testing. It’s uncertain how many will pass the tests and begin operations.
Source: Fierce Wireless