Update - May 2020
The is no project to free up the 6GHz frequency band for unlicensed use in Canada for now. However, this might evolve following the decision taken by the FCC in the US. When ISED decides to start studying this option, it will launch a public consultation. This will allow any Canadian businesses to provide their input in the matter.
In order to follow the ISED publications, you can take a look at this website (you can filter on "consultation"): https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf10780.html
I will probably follow up with another update when the public consultation becomes available.
This will only be the very first step of the process, so don't expect to use Wi-Fi on 6GHz anytime soon in Canada.
This would give access to an impressive number of additional Wi-Fi channels:
- In the US:
- 59x 20MHz channels
- 29x 40MHz channels
- 14x 80MHz channels
- 7x 160MHz channels
- In the EU:
- 24x 20MHz channels
- 12x 40MHz channels
- 6x 80MHz channels
- 3x 160MHz channels
As a Wi-Fi Engineer and seeing channel related problems every day, I get very excited knowing that more channels could become available. It could solve a lot of our issues and improve the overall performances of our Wi-Fi networks.
However, in Canada, the ISED does not have current plans of opening up the 6GHz band for licence-exempt use.
Current Use of the 6GHz Band in Canada
- 5925-6425 MHz: Two-way Backhaul. Uplink communication for FSS (Fixed Satellite Service) (delivery of broadband services + distribute TV programming)
- 6425-7125 MHz: two-way Backhaul + TV auxiliary services and studio transmitter links.
The Near Future (2018-2022)
Here is the spectrum outlook priorities set by ISED for the next 5 years (2018 to 2022). As you can see 6GHz has been assigned a priority of 3:
In parallel, the IEEE could potentially decide to only allow certain amendment to be used on the 6GHz bands which would strongly push ISED to release these frequencies for Wi-Fi use. It is already being said that the 802.11ax wave 2 devices will be able to operate on the 6GHz band.
- ISED Spectrum Outlook 2018 to 2022:
- Wi-Fi Trek Présentation from Chuck Lukaszewski « Opening the 6GHz band for unlicensed operations » :
- FCC Notice of Proposed Rulemaking « UnLicensed Use of the 6 GHz Band »
- EU Radio Spectrum Committee Working Document « Commission paper on a draft Mandate to CEPT on RLAN in the 6 GHz band (5925-6725 MHz) »
Written by François Vergès