The Promise of WiFi in the 6 GHz Band (2019)

By J.R. Flesch, Charles Cheevers & Kurt Lumbatis, Commscope

The 5.925-7.125 GHz band (colloquially “6 GHz band”) represents an immense opportunity for indoor WiFi to fully adopt the promise of WiFi6 in a green space environment and clear out the channel access baggage and heterogeneous technical epoch mix accumulated during the more or less organic growth of unlicensed, contention-based wireless services in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. In exploiting this clean break, it avoids disrupting the existing population of devices and their present state of interoperability (however suboptimal that may be). Spectrum leverages associated with multiple-user OFDMA, multiple-user MIMO and BSS coloring have the ability to promote low-latency spectrum scheduling, improved link margins and topographical channel re-use which will go a long way towards resolving the potentially thorny CCI environment represented by multiple-AP, dense client device deployments. Additionally, the wealth of new spectral piping available at 6 GHz, of itself, may provide all the solution required to wirelessly backbone data hauling in the home between WAN attachment and an opportunistically-placed AP/hub/extender, resulting in reliable (virtually OOB) trunking hauls between access points which enable whole-home LAN bitrates sufficient to meet anticipated WAN bulk connectivity budgets as these inflate via either DOCSIS or 5G mechanisms. Blanket WiFi coverage of multi-Gbps (as a services ensemble)ought to be achievable given the power, BW, link budget and spectral efficiencies available within the service radii posed by indoor residential environments.

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