Ofcom has released a proposal to ensure the availability of 500 MHz of additional spectrum for Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz frequency band.
These airwaves will be available without the need for a licence.
The telecom regulator aims to ensure that UK’s homes and businesses across the country can access reliable Wi-Fi for their broadband connectivity.
Ofcom said UK households are using 315 GB of broadband data a month – the equivalent of watching up to four hours of HD video content a day.
94 percent of all UK premises can receive superfast broadband (30 Mbit/s and above). Access to ultrafast broadband (greater than 300 Mbit/s) is at 53 percent of homes, up from 50 percent (and from 36 percent 2017), according to Ofcom’s Connected Nations report 2019.
Ofcom said fibre broadband availability increased by around 100 percent year-on-year to 3 million premises. Openreach, a part of BT Group, plans to cover 10 million homes by 2025, and other providers have also made commitments to expand their fibre networks and provide gigabit speeds.
Ofcom is also proposing to open access to 18.2 GHz of spectrum in the 100-200 GHz band range – which is part of the Extremely High Frequency (EHF) spectrum. Spectrum above 100 GHz will open up new opportunities to develop innovative wireless services across a range of industries in the future.
The availability of lower 6 GHz band (5925-6425 MHz) spectrum for Wi-Fi would enable very low power (VLP) outdoor use. This would improve performance by reducing congestion in existing bands caused by large numbers of devices and enable the development of new, higher bandwidth applications.
Removal of the Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) requirements from Wi-Fi channels in the 5.8 GHz band (5725-5850 MHz) will increase its use for indoor Wi-Fi and cut congestion in other Wi-Fi bands.