Ofcom to open up 500MHz of 6Ghz spectrum for Wi-Fi
Written by: James Atkinson | Published:

Ofcom is proposing to make 500 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum available for Wi-Fi, along with 18.2 GHz of Extremely High Frequency (EHF) spectrum in the 100-200 GHz band. Ofcom announced it is consulting on the proposals today (17 January 2020).

Ofcom noted that demand for data is growing, with households now using 315 GB of broadband data a month – the equivalent of watching up to four hours of HD video content a day. Additionally, new services are being developed that require reliable connections, on the move.

500 MHz of additional licensed-exempt spectrum in the 6 GHz frequency band will help people get a more reliable connection across all devices using Wi-Fi in the home and in the office.

The regulator added that the new frequencies will support new innovative uses for very low power outdoor use, such as Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR).

Ofcom is also proposing to open up access to 18.2 GHz of spectrum in the EHF 100-200 GHz band range. It argues that spectrum above 100 GHz will open up new opportunities to develop innovative wireless services across a range of industries in the future. These could include:

  • Very high-speed data links – necessary for 3D holograms and future internet of things (IoT) applications
  • High precision industrial use – micro positioning robots and testing manufactured products
  • Health screening applications - for the earlier detection of conditions such as skin cancer.

Ofcom is asking for responses to both consultations to reach it by 20 March 2020.

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