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Can WiFi And Cellphones Coexist On The Upper 6GHz Band

WiFi Already Uses It, But Will It Share?

If you have been to a large event recently, you were probably reminded what happens when a large amount of wireless devices congregate in one area.   The frequency bands get overwhelmed and your internet connection becomes spotty, at best.  To resolve this various bandwidths have been opened up for use, trying to spread the traffic across the spectrum.  The best practice has been to separate WiFi traffic and cellphone traffic by assigning them different parts of the spectrum, but that could change.

Ofcom are proposing ways that the upper 6GHz band could be used by WiFi and cell signals simultaneously.  One idea is to design a MAC database which specifies where and when access is allowed by devices; WiFi on the 6GHz band for short range WAPs for installation inside and cell signals when you are outside.  They also propose enhancing channel sensing on WiFi devices to help avoid collisions and perhaps introducing the same ability to cellphones.

The FCC have already opened up the entire upper 6GHz band for low-power Wi-Fi for indoor use, as long as the device has an automated frequency coordination system to prevent collisions with other equipment.  There are many legacy devices which use the same band, and they will definitely not be smart enough to sense traffic.  

It’s a challenge, and one that needs to be solved now so that new devices will have somewhere to transmit over, instead of trying to squeeze into already crowded frequencies.

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