Wi-Fi 6E officially launched in France

Wi-Fi 6E operation can officially begin. After working during the summer on the launch of the new version of Wi-Fi 6 compatible with the 6 GHz band in France, the authorities have just passed the second in this file far from being accidental.

Under pressure from Brussels, which had given Member States until December 1 to make a 480 MHz frequency band available to manufacturers (placed in the spectrum between 5 945 and 6 425 MHz), Paris finally waited for the last moment to function. It was that day that the authorities published in the Official Gazette a decision totally in line with the proposal during the summer by Arcep, as pointed out by our colleagues from NextInpact at the end of last week. Enough to allow manufacturers to offer their compatible products on the French market and hopefully to further mainstream Wi-Fi 6, which is still struggling to establish itself on the landscape.

Wi-Fi 6E was first developed in January 2020 under the auspices of the Wi-Fi Alliance, the consortium in charge of this technology. This new version of Wi-Fi 6 must support Wi-Fi 6 devices capable of operating in the 6 GHz band, unlike devices that are compatible with the new Wi-Fi 6 standard but that operate only in the 2 bands, 4 GHz and 5 GHz, still. classified as Wi-Fi 6. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the 6 GHz band has multiple merits. It has enough contiguous spectrum to provide 7 channels of 160 MHz and 14 channels of 80 MHz. What better way to support high-bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming and virtual reality.

Limited devices

Furthermore, this band “is well suited to facilitate the continued growth of Wi-Fi in underserved areas due to its proximity to the 5 GHz frequency where Wi-Fi is already working, the increased availability of wireless channels. Increased size and accessibility to a clear spectrum with less interference from existing Wi-Fi 4 or Wi-Fi 5 devices “, specifies Wi-Fi Alliance in its work.” The extension of Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz frequency band will play a key role in the support of industrial IoT devices, thanks to the addition of frequency bands that were very necessary for Wi-Fi uses, “we want to believe on the organization side.

Still, all devices will not have citizenship. The only devices authorized to operate on Wi-Fi 6E by Arcep, the telecommunications police, are low-power indoor WAS / RLAN devices, called LPI (Low Power Indoor), as well as very low-power WAS / RLAN devices, also called VLP (very low power).

If the former must be used in WiFi access points and operator boxes transmitting with a power of 200 mW, “their use is limited inside buildings”, specifies the Authority chaired by Laure de la Raudière. Thus, Arcep wishes to avoid any risk of interference or signal attenuation with satellite services, urban rail systems that operate in bands close to 6 GHz or microwave links that already use the latter. As for VLPs, which come in the form of portable devices such as smartphones or connected objects, these can transmit with a power of 25 mW, either indoors or outdoors.

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