Wireless Broadband Alliance joins TIP’s work on Wi-Fi open automated frequency coordination

Today, the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) said that it’s joining the work of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Open AFC group.

The Open Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) group is working on software that will provide the flexibility for outdoor deployments of Wi-Fi in open air stadiums and similar venues. 

The goal of Open AFC is to develop an open-source reference implementation of an AFC system. This framework would enable unlicensed devices in the 6 GHz band to operate outdoors and to increase their indoor range while protecting existing services, such as microwave links, from interference.

RELATED: Facebook, Cisco, Broadcom launch AFC group for 6 GHz Wi-Fi

In the U.S., the 6 GHz band is the new home for Wi-Fi devices thanks to a decision at the FCC to open up a big chunk of the band specifically for unlicensed uses. As part of its order last year, the FCC also called for an AFC system to facilitate devices.

Over 41 countries worldwide have already designated 6 GHz for unlicensed use, and many others are actively working to open the band.

AvidThink analyst Roy Chua said, “Fundamentally, Open AFC is a way of using 6 GHz in a smarter manner. The AFC is just a coordination implementation in the 6 GHz band. Proprietary systems could use it as well.”

He added that WBA’s involvement with Open AFC adds additional momentum behind it. “WBA is an important group within the Wi-Fi ecosystem. Joining with TIP, it’s more likely AFC is going to be open.”

TIP said in a statement today, “The Software Group’s long term vision is that as Wi-Fi 7 comes along, AFC will represent a great leap forward for the user experience by enabling over 60 times more power for reliable, low latency, and multi-gigabit wireless broadband both indoors and outdoors.”

Chris Szymanski, TIP Open AFC Software Group Co-Chair, said: “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 organization that is highly focused on improving operator provisioned Wi-Fi.” 


TIP also said earlier this year that it would adopt WBA’s OpenRoaming standard.

RELATED: TIP teams with WBA to tackle Wi-Fi roaming

Introduced in 2020, the OpenRoaming standard unites a broad range of Wi-Fi providers into a single cloud-based federation, allowing users to hop between member networks without having to register or sign in each time.