Dublin, Ireland – October 2, 2023 – In preparation for the 2023 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-23), the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) adopts a position to preserve existing operations while expanding connectivity capabilities in the 6.425-7.125 GHz frequency band (“upper 6 GHz”).
Wi-Fi Alliance® welcomes the decision by European administrations not to support the identification of the upper 6 GHz band for the International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) at the upcoming WRC-23 conference. The CEPT has adopted a European Common Proposal (ECP) not to support an IMT identification of the band. The ECP recognizes the importance of the existing communications in the upper 6 GHz frequency band and that this spectrum is needed to support growing demand for licence-exempt connectivity technologies, such as Wi-Fi®. Also, the ECP establishes regulatory constraints necessary for IMT coexistence with incumbent services in the upper 6 GHz band.
Following extensive technical studies and deliberations, the ECP represents a key step towards realising the connectivity objectives identified in the European Union’s Digital Decade programme. Importantly, access to the upper 6 GHz frequency band is needed to support major advances in Wi-Fi technology, such as increased data throughput rates, ultra-low and deterministic latencies, better mobility, and high densities of users/devices. The case for allowing Wi-Fi access to the entire 6 GHz band (i.e., 5.925 to 7.125 GHz) is clear and compelling. 6 GHz Wi-Fi is already delivering significant socioeconomic benefits in many countries. With a diverse and growing 6 GHz product ecosystem, Wi-Fi fits perfectly with market needs and customer preferences for broadband wireless connectivity without disrupting 6 GHz incumbent users. Wi-Fi operations in the 6 GHz band quickly and significantly enhance the value of the band when such Wi-Fi operation is allowed.
Conversely, the immaturity of the 6 GHz IMT equipment ecosystem, along with regulatory decisions already adopted in several countries, suggests that IMT deployments in the 6 GHz band are not feasible in the short-to-medium term. The value and benefits of 6 GHz spectrum would be curbed by an IMT designation, which will result in a connectivity divide between regions where Wi-Fi has access to only part of the band and regions where it will operate in the full 6 GHz band.
Commercial viability of IMT networks under the regulatory constraints specified in the ECP is questionable. Recognizing that IMT operations in the upper 6 GHz band are unlikely to materialize, while delaying needed spectrum capacity for Wi-Fi undermines the benefits this technology is ready to deliver to the European consumers and businesses.
Wi-Fi Alliance looks forward to supporting the CEPT efforts at WRC-23.
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Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 75,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.
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 Agenda Item 1.2 of the World Radiocommunication Conference in Dubai in November and December 2023 will consider whether to identify 6425-7125 MHz for IMT in ITU Region 1 (EMEA)
 The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations