WiFi Routers coming to 6 GHz

FCC-18-147 NPRM (Notice of Proposed Rule Making) is currently floating around which will allow additional unlicensed devices to operate in the 6 GHz band. This seems to be specifically aimed at allowing WiFi routers to operate on top of existing UWB activities in North America.
A similar proposal is circulating in Europe - ECC Recommendation 302.
The UWB Alliance - of which Decawave is a member - has filed a counter-proposal, at least to FCC. They suggest that under some scenarios, 32% of UWB ranging systems could fail, and Rec 302 says that a UWB receiver could suffer 3 dB degradation of sensitivity as much as a km away from a 6 GHz router.
This seems scheduled to happen in 2020 and sounds problematic. Are there any proposals on the table - other than UWBA - on how to deal with this?

Hi Bob,

Beyond UWBA there are some other companies making noise about this.
For example see here:

For which we have submitted a comment of support.


It looks like we may have an ally in keeping WiFi routers out of the 6 GHz spectrum. The Utilities Technology Council represents over 400 utilities in North America ranging from sewage treatment to nuclear power plants. They operate more than 93,000 point-to-point microwave radio links in the 6 GHz band. They are pushing back hard against FCC to keep WiFi routers out of 6 GHz. They’ve also said that they have no issues co-existing with UWB activity. See here for more information- https://utc.org/6ghz/

1 Like

Thank you for the update Bjorn

What is the current forecast for DW3000 availability? Is there a preliminary data sheet available? I saw elsewhere that DW3000 would allow access to Japanese market under Telec by virtue of Channel 9 availability. Also, the 50 Mbs requirement does not apply in Ch 9, if I understand correctly.

FCC announced today that they intend to move forward with allowing WiFi and other unlicensed gear into the 6 GHz band. It’s not cast in stone until a final vote on April 23rd.

It’s official - WiFi routers are coming to 6 GHz. Some chip mfg - Broadcom, eg - are already shipping chip sets to router mfg.

So this basically means that operating a uwb tracking system on channel 5 is nearly impossible in the future, if there is a WIFI 6 router in the same room/building/street?

According to UWB Alliance, they’ve suggested that about 30% of UWB radios will experience problems (if I read their report correctly). Decawave is reportedly planning to introduce the DW3000 IC at some point which will give 8 GHz (Channel 9) capability. I know nothing about the ETA or specifics of DW3000. FCC is mandating mitigation measures which reportedly will keep the new WiFi 6E routers from interfering with the incumbent 93,000 6 GHz microwave systems used by utilities in the US. FCC has made it clear that 6 GHz UWB activities are on their own.

Thanks for the fast response.

I think you are referencing to the statement on page 16 of the report:

32% of UWB two-way ranging exchanges will fail.

Anyway, looking forward to receiving some details about DW3000.