Ofcom Proposes to Open Up Additional ‘Sub-Band’ within the 5 GHz for Wi-Fi

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Ofcom has set out plans designed to help speed up Wi-Fi connections for millions of people across the UK. Ofcom said that the proposals would open up more airwaves for Wi-Fi channels so that larger amounts of data can be carried at faster download speeds. This would improve the quality of service, especially for applications that need more internet capacity, like high-definition video.

To make connections faster, Ofcom is proposing to open up an additional ‘sub-band’ within the 5 GHz frequency range for Wi-Fi - while ensuring protection for other users, such as satellite services. The extra sub-band would increase the number of 80 MHz channels available for Wi-Fi from four to six, to accommodate data-hungry applications. These extra channels - which are already being used in the US - could be opened up in a few years.

Ofcom is keen to work with the industry to understand how even more airwaves in the 5 GHz range might help meet growing demand - in particular, how and when additional spectrum should be made available, with safeguards to protect existing users.

Philip Marnick, Group Director of Spectrum at Ofcom
People are placing greater demands on their broadband, so we need to ensure they aren’t let down by their wireless connection. We also want to close the gap between advertised speeds and the wireless performance that people and businesses actually receive. So we’re exploring ways to open up more airwaves for Wi-Fi.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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