Friday, June 14, 2024

Collaboration To Bring Open AFC For Wi-Fi 6E To All

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The partneship will help the growth and global adoption of 6 GHz Wi-Fi while enabling better user experience indoors & outdoors

To help promote the global adoption of Wi-Fi 6E and all types of use cases that can benefit from it, including indoor and outdoor venues that have adopted OpenRoaming, the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has expanded its relationship with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). This partnership will also assist TIP to advance its Open AFC SoftwareGroup for 6 GHz Wi-Fi. 

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In May 2021, TIP adopted the WBA OpenRoaming standard, which enables users to securely roam from location to location without the need for logins, registrations or passwords. Open Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) also complements TIP OpenWiFi. Open AFC restructures the Wi-Fi networks deployment by leveraging open-source development and automated testing to allow Wi-Fi service providers to confidently deploy APs, cloud controllers and smart analytics from different vendors.

Current Plan

As of today, over 41 countries worldwide have already designated 6 GHz for unlicensed use with several others set to join soon. Many of them see the gains by enabling standard power operations, for which AFC is required. The Open AFC can play an important role here by developing an open-source reference implementation of an AFC system and enabling unlicensed devices in the 6 GHz band to operate outdoors as well as indoors with an increased range while ensuring that existing services are protected from interference. By assisting the deployment of OpenRoaming, which also includes automatic friction-free onboarding, the public will receive full benefits of 6 GHz Wi-Fi with privacy and security. 

“As we take steps towards optimising the connectivity and economic benefits of the 6 GHz band, we also need to ensure fair and equitable use of the band. 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,” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.

“AFC is critical to the future of 6 GHz Wi-Fi. With AFC, Wi-Fi devices can operate at higher powers, provide greater coverage and operate outdoors. This fits well within the focus area of the WBA, an organisation that is highly focused on improving operator provisioned Wi-Fi,” commented Chris Szymanski, TIP Open AFC Software Group Co-Chair, and Director of Product Marketing, Technology Strategy, Wireless Communications & Connectivity Division, Broadcom.

Michael Tseytlin, TIP Open AFC Software Group Co-Chair, and Director, Spectrum and Standards, Meta, added, “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.”

Matthew MacPherson, CTO of Wireless at Cisco said, “As a board member of the WBA and a founding member of TIP Open AFC Software Group, Cisco is excited to see these two organisations collaborate in driving next-generation Wi-Fi use cases. WBA’s mission of holistically driving recommendations and specifications to simplify the adoption of new innovations is a great match with Open AFC’s dedication to delivering an open-source solution that expands standard power solutions and makes them available to a broad set of vendors and users. By working together, these two groups can jointly open up new opportunities for wireless innovation through the use of higher power within the 6 GHz spectrum, driving greater range and reliability.”

The collaboration will also help further Wi-Fi 7, as and when it is launched in the future. 


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