Insights

Good news for the future of UK WiFi

Posted 04/08/2020 by growe

Categories: Uncategorised

In a statement released 24th July, UK regulator Ofcom announced its decision to make 500MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band available for indoor WiFi use. This is considered a huge win for the future of wireless in the UK and a first for the world. 

The speed and reliability of WiFi is determined by the amount of spectrum available, so the addition of this additional spectrum means that WiFi will perform faster and more reliably, both at home and in congested areas. 

Ofcom are also allowing Very Low Power (VLP) outdoor use, as well as making the new spectrum Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) free, unlike the 5GHz band which was highly criticised for this. The UK is well positioned, being the second country in the world to release 6GHz band to WiFi (following the initial decision made back in April). 

What are the benefits? 

The new 6GHz will nearly double the available WiFi spectrum in the UK, and can accommodate 3 new 160MHz WiFi channels, or up to 24 new 20 MHz WiFi channels. 

It will also enable a massive increase in WiFi data rates in home settings up to 5 times more than is currently available! This includes a peak speed of 2Gbps when using 160 MHz channels, and up to 1.4Gbps from a distance of 7 meters. 

This latest 6GHz WiFi spectrum will be in a league of its own, legacy devices will not be allowed to operate on this band, resulting in an impressive latency of as little as 2 milliseconds. The additional capacity will deliver greater network performance and supports more WiFi users at once, even in dense and congested environments. 

Whilst the 6GHz band has a lower coverage than the previous 5GHz, the extra spectrum available results in more space for data and reduces congestion levels from competing local WiFi signals.  

In support of this decision Ofcom has released a comprehensive document which is available here.  

This paradigm shift in connectivity means that the way we’ve been used to doing things will fundamentally change. With countries such as Brazil and India planning special events in the coming months to mark the implementation of 6GHz band to WiFi, this is just the start of a global shift towards an even more connected world.