Automated Frequency Coordination for Standard Power in 6 GHz

Peter Thornycroft

The FCC allows unrestricted use of the 6 GHz band up to moderate power levels for indoor APs. But for higher power indoors, connectorized antenna, and all outdoor use, ‘Standard Power’ operation is required to ensure that Wi-Fi 6E APs avoid interfering with existing users of the band, mainly point-to-point links. The FCC and other national regulators mandate the use of central coordinating servers, AFCs, that maintain databases of incumbent licensed links. APs subject to AFC coordination must query an AFC at regular intervals to determine permissible channels and power levels that prevent excess interference to the incumbents.

In this talk, Sam MacMullan of Federated Wireless and Peter Thornycroft of Aruba will detail Standard Power operation and AFC architectures: the protocol between AP and AFC, what information must be sent, where the AFC learns about existing licensed links, and the algorithms determining which AP signals cause harmful interference. Knowledge of AFC functionality and operation will be essential for network engineers deploying Standard Power APs in the 6 GHz band, not only in the USA but also in many other countries, as the use of AFC technology spreads.

If we get FCC approval for Standard Power operations at the WLPC venue, a live demo will show the AP-AFC system in action.