What the 6 GHz band might mean to fixed-wireless access – Urgent Comms – Urgent Communications

Fixed-wireless access (FWA) technology is gaining significant interest in the US market, as evidenced by T-Mobile and Verizon collectively adding 816,000 new FWA customers during the second quarter of this year, while Charter Communications and Comcast collectively lost around 21,000 broadband customers.
Leichtman Research Group reported that, over the past year, the US broadband industry added a total of 3.3 million net broadband customers. Fully 56% of those subscribed to fixed wireless.
Much of the growth in FWA is due to the release of more midband spectrum for 5G. Such spectrum provides network operators with the capacity necessary to support home Internet traffic that can total 1TB or more per month.
But the FWA story in the US doesn’t end with midband spectrum like C-band3.45GHz and 2.5GHz. Another growth vector could open up via the 6GHz band.
Another unlicensed option
“We’re excited about 6GHz. It can’t get here fast enough,” Scott Imhoff, SVP of product management for equipment vendor Cambium, told Light Reading. He said the vast amount of mostly unused spectrum in the unlicensed 6GHz band ought to appeal to operators working in other, increasingly crowded unlicensed spectrum bands like 5GHz.
“I think you’ll see a very rich customer base adopt the technology quite quickly,” he said.
Imhoff explained that Cambium is already selling indoor Wi-Fi equipment working in the 6GHz band to enterprise customers. He said the FCC’s vote in 2020 to allocate the entire 6GHz band for unlicensed uses helped pave the way for that initial application.
However, the band is widely expected to support outdoor applications, including fixed wireless, when the FCC authorizes Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) systems for 6GHz. Such systems are intended to coordinate 6GHz spectrum among multiple users, including existing 6GHz users that are already using the band for cell site backhaul or radio astronomy.
Imhoff said the FCC could approve initial AFC operations as early as the end of this year.
Not surprisingly, Cambium isn’t the only vendor eyeing the opportunity to sell new equipment for a new spectrum band.
To read the complete article, visit Light Reading.
 
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