Unlicensed Spectrum

Unlicensed spectrum, where Wi-Fi® operates, is one of society’s most valuable resources. The Wi-Fi industry’s innovation, promotion, and good stewardship of unlicensed spectrum has delivered significant benefits to users and driven immense economic value worldwide. Wi-Fi Alliance® advocates for unlicensed spectrum, and for ensuring that the benefits Wi-Fi delivers can be maintained.

The United States Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval to provide all 1200 megahertz of spectrum for unlicensed use, including Wi-Fi, in the 6 GHz band is a monumental decision to provide more access for Wi-Fi devices.  Wi-Fi Alliance members are moving quickly to ensure interoperability of Wi-Fi 6E devices through the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program by early 2021. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to work with regulatory agencies worldwide to open the 6 GHz spectrum for Wi-Fi use.

Unlicensed spectrum availability

While there has been sustained growth in Wi-Fi usage, unlicensed spectrum allocation has not increased at pace with Wi-Fi growth until now. Wi-Fi Alliance commissioned research to determine future Wi-Fi needs. The resulting Wi-Fi Spectrum Needs Study confirms that between 2020 and 2025, users worldwide are likely to experience a spectrum shortfall, without global access to additional spectrum.

To sustain the economic and societal benefits derived from Wi-Fi, consumers need global spectrum availability that considers growth in Wi-Fi use and fair coexistence among technologies operating in unlicensed spectrum.  

Wi-Fi operation in 6 GHz addresses Wi-Fi spectrum shortage by providing contiguous spectrum blocks to accommodate up to 14 additional 80 MHz channels  or 7 additional 160 MHz channels. These wider channels are needed for high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput such as high-definition video streaming and virtual reality. Wi-Fi 6E designates devices capable of 6 GHz operation. Wi-Fi 6E devices leverage wider channels and additional capacity to deliver greater network performance and support more Wi-Fi users at once, even in very dense and congested environments.

Wi-Fi Alliance is committed to working with all interested stakeholders to ensure Wi-Fi continues to meet users’ needs and expectations, now and in the future.

Join us in our efforts to ensure the continued success of Wi-Fi.

Economic value of Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi provides a global economic value of $1.96 trillion, according to a study commissioned by Wi-Fi Alliance. By 2023 that value should grow to $3.47 trillion. World economies significantly benefit from Wi-Fi every year—so much so that the importance of ensuring spectrum is paramount to continued growth. Visit www.valueofwifi.com for more details on the study.

 

Upcoming events and activities
Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi and LTE-U Coexistence Test Workshop - See more at: https://www.wi-fi.org/news-events#sthash.B1TdOKsJ.dpuf
Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi and LTE-U Coexistence Test Workshop - See more at: https://www.wi-fi.org/news-events#sthash.B1TdOKsJ.dpuf

Upcoming events and activities

Wi-Fi and LTE-U Coexistence Test Workshop
November 4th
Palo Alto, CA

The first in a series, this one-day workshop on Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence will provide attendees with an opportunity to advance dialogue and understanding about fair spectrum sharing, the potential effects of LTE-U, and the type of activities in which Wi-Fi Alliance is engaging to promote fair sharing. Attendees will learn about the testing activities underway within Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wi-Fi industry. Attendees will also have an opportunity to hear from proponents of LTE-U.

- See more at: https://www.wi-fi.org/node/25323/revisions/31216/view#sthash.yRKB4HmP.dpuf

Upcoming events and activities

Wi-Fi and LTE-U Coexistence Test Workshop
November 4th
Palo Alto, CA

The first in a series, this one-day workshop on Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence will provide attendees with an opportunity to advance dialogue and understanding about fair spectrum sharing, the potential effects of LTE-U, and the type of activities in which Wi-Fi Alliance is engaging to promote fair sharing. Attendees will learn about the testing activities underway within Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wi-Fi industry. Attendees will also have an opportunity to hear from proponents of LTE-U.

- See more at: https://www.wi-fi.org/node/25323/revisions/31216/view#sthash.zAQm8SA8.dpuf

Upcoming events and activities

Wi-Fi and LTE-U Coexistence Test Workshop
November 4th
Palo Alto, CA

The first in a series, this one-day workshop on Wi-Fi and LTE-U coexistence will provide attendees with an opportunity to advance dialogue and understanding about fair spectrum sharing, the potential effects of LTE-U, and the type of activities in which Wi-Fi Alliance is engaging to promote fair sharing. Attendees will learn about the testing activities underway within Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wi-Fi industry. Attendees will also have an opportunity to hear from proponents of LTE-U.

- See more at: https://www.wi-fi.org/node/25323/revisions/31216/view#sthash.zAQm8SA8.dpuf

  • What Wi-Fi trends are expected in 2020?
  • Economic value of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Alliance News See All
Media Coverage See All
FCC boosts Wi-Fi 6 spectrum five-fold
FCC votes to let fast WiFi devices use airwaves, in a win for tech companies
Wireless stakeholders cheer ‘historic’ FCC Wi-Fi 6GHz spectrum allocation decision
Download Additional Resources