Ofcom is making 6GHz spectrum available for UK Wi-Fi networks, easing signal congestion and ensuring wireless routers can cope with additional devices and with demand for more data-intensive applications.
Wireless devices will be able to use frequencies in the lower part of the band (5925-6425 MHz), paving the way for higher capacity Wi-Fi 6 services that can support new uses cases like Virtual Reality (VR).
Ofcom says the fact that the UK’s broadband infrastructure has handled additional demand placed on it by the coronavirus pandemic, the provision of additional spectrum will ease congestion and future proof consumer and business Wi-Fi services.
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Accordingly, it will update the technical requirements for wireless routers in the UK, claiming the move will ease congestion and futureproof Wi-Fi networks.
Wi-Fi 6 is a generational shift in wireless communications and is viewed as a complementary technology to 5G, boosting speeds, enhancing capacity and lowering latency.
The wireless industry positions Wi-Fi 6 as the unlicensed standard of choice for digitisation, competing against licensed cellular networks, proprietary connectivity standards, and other technologies like Bluetooth.
Wi-Fi 6 will also play a role in converged networks that comprise wireless, cellular and fixed infrastructure.
Earlier this year, the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) cleared the entire 6GHz band in order to aid the development and adoption of Wi-Fi 6E networks that are capable of 2Gbps speeds. The Wi-Fi Alliance is expected to open certification for the first devices in early 2021.
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Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.