The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) have expanded their parthersnip to further TIP’s Open AFC Software Group and help drive global adoption of Wi-Fi in the new 6 GHz unlicensed band — known today as Wi-Fi 6E, but in the near future, Wi-Fi 7 will operate on this band as well.
According to WBA, more than 41 countries have designated 6 GHz for unlicensed use so far, with others working to do the same. For many of these countries, automated frequency coordination (AFC) will help enable unlicensed devices in the 6 GHz band to operate outdoors as well as increase their indoor range while ensuring that existing services are protected from interference.
The goal of TIP’s Open AFC is to develop an open-source reference implementation of an AFC system.
“Enabling the full benefits of 6 GHz Wi-Fi with an AFC system will deliver all the public Wi-Fi benefits of OpenRoaming including automatic friction free onboarding for users whilst managing privacy and security and enabling different identity options,” said the WBA.
“As we take steps towards optimizing the connectivity and economic benefits of the 6 GHz band, we also need to ensure fair and equitable use of the band,” commented Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. “Open AFC will benefit the whole Wi-Fi Industry, including networks that have adopted OpenRoaming. It will enhance Wi-Fi to provide a consistently great, secure broadband user experience in stadiums, homes, enterprises, schools, hospitals and more.”
TIP adopted the WBA OpenRoaming standard in May 2021. The standard enables users to securely roam from location to location without the need for logins, registrations or passwords. Part of the extended partnership between the two entiries will involve defining how Open AFC will work and how public and guest Wi-Fi based on OpenRoaming can benefit from the full capabilities of Wi-Fi 6E.
“With more than 30 companies already involved in the Project Group, the collaboration with WBA brings in new strength to the team. We look forward to working with the WBA in enabling AFC operations around the globe,” said Michael Tseytlin, TIP Open AFC Software Group co-chair, and director of Spectrum and Standards, Meta Platforms.