Apple lobbying for new ‘very low power’ Wi-Fi tech | Cult of Mac

Apple lobbying for new ‘very low power’ Wi-Fi tech

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home Wi-Fi
This could open up new possibilities for Wi-Fi devices.
Photo: Alan Levine/Flickr

Apple joined forces with a number of other tech companies to lobby the Federal Communications Commission for a new Wi-Fi band.

The proposed 6 GHz band would open up new types of short-range connectivity for portable Very Low Power (VLP) devices. It could prove useful for everything from mobile augmented reality devices to high-speed tethering with smartphones, laptops and tablets.

Representatives for companies including Qualcomm, Microsoft, HP, Google and Facebook joined Apple to meet with FCC officials last week. During the meeting, they presented a slide show arguing their case.

Some of the new technologies the new 6 GHz Wi-Fi band might suit.
Some of the new technologies the band would suit?
Photo: FCC ex-parte notification, July 2019

In an accompanying letter sent to FCC Secretary Marlene Dortch (.pdf), the companies noted:

“As detailed in the slide presentation, we explained that VLP operations in the 6 GHz band operating without Automated Frequency Coordination (“AFC”) at 14 dBm EIRP, or -5 dBm/MHz radiated Power Spectral Density (“PSD”), would present no real-world risk of harmful interference to licensed FS operations. We also explained that the 4 dB of body loss included in the PSD analysis on slide 4 of the presentation is a very conservative estimate of losses given the common use cases VLP would support, such as automotive infotainment, device-to-device video streaming, mobile AR/VR, and tethering.”

Why Apple backs 6 GHz Wi-Fi

All companies involved presumably have different reasons for pursuing VLP technology. Apple, for instance, is reportedly working on AR headsets.

Plus, Apple’s CarPlay platform would benefit from new Wi-Fi bands that let devices operate in peer-to-peer client modes at very short ranges (under 3 meters). So would the secret Apple Car efforts known as Project Titan.

The report noted that, based on current data usage, “We expect the lion’s share of transmissions to take place indoors/in-vehicle.”

Moving the industry forward

Apple continually leads the industry in adoption of Wi-Fi technology. Twenty years ago this month, it introduced its colorful iBook laptop. Coming packaged with Apple’s then-new AirPort networking card, the computer introduced cable-free internet access to the masses for the first time.

If Apple and its partners’ lobbying succeeds, the FCC could approve usage of the new 6 GHz band for future devices. That could open up a whole new range of mobile device possibilities for Wi-Fi.

Via: Wi-Fi Now