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.

Countries and regulatory bodies—including Brazil, Chile, the European Union, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, the U.K., and the U.S.—are delivering 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum to their citizens. Wi-Fi Alliance members are ensuring interoperability of Wi-Fi 6E devices through Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program testing and certification. 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 seven additional 160 MHz channels. These wider channels are needed for high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput such as high-definition video streaming, virtual reality, unified communications, cloud computing, and telepresence. 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, now and in the future.

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

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

  • Wi-Fi 6E: Expanding Wi-Fi into 6 GHz spectrum
  • A day without Wi-Fi
  • FCC remarks from Ajit Pai, Chairman
  • What Wi-Fi trends are expected in 2020?
  • Economic value of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Alliance News See All
Media Coverage See All
Wi-Fi Alliance readies 6 GHz Wi-Fi for mass market with Wi-Fi 6E certification program
Wi-Fi Alliance Announces Certification for Wi-Fi 6E Now Available
Wi-Fi Alliance launches certification for 6E devices
Product Finder
Wi-Fi 6E certified products
Download Additional Resources
Wi-Fi Alliance Member Publications
6GHz Wi-Fi - The Silver Bullet for Addressing the 1000x Data Challenge Using Unlicensed Spectrum
Arista Networks
A Guide to Wi-Fi 6E – Wi-Fi 6 in the 6 GHz Band
Litepoint