FCC Increases Availability of Spectrum in the 5 GHz Band

Published on April 17, 2014

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FCC Increases Availability of Spectrum in the 5 GHz Band

By: Jordan Manser, Marketing Intern

Establishing a reliable Wi-Fi connection in sports arenas, airports, and other large venues has traditionally proven to be a challenge. This is due in part to the limits placed on the 5 GHz operating band by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). However in a recent press release, FCC Increases Availability of Spectrum for High-Speed, High Capacity Wi-Fi and Other Unlicensed Uses in the 5 GHz Band, the FCC announced new rules regarding the 5 GHz band. The modifications will make 100 MHz of spectrum more accessible for outdoor uses and increase the potential for innovation in the unlicensed spectrum.

As the traditional 2.4 GHz operating band becomes more crowded, consumers increasingly look to the 5 GHz operating band to improve or maintain network performance and reliability. As a result, the FCC recently modified the rules governing the operation of Unlicensed National Information Infrastructure (U-NII) devices operating in the 5 GHz band. The ruling removes the restriction of indoor-only use and allows increased power. These improved operational conditions facilitate better integration with other unlicensed areas of the 5 GHz band, offering faster speeds and reducing congestion at crowded Wi-Fi hot spots.

This is an excellent ruling from the FCC and opens up more access for unlicensed devices, particularly for Wi-Fi systems. It will be some time before infrastructure systems are updated to reflect the new rules, but in the meantime it opens up more spectrum for point to point outdoor systems.

Laird has always promoted the use of 5 GHz for secure and reliable communications, and this ruling will only serve to expand the use of 5 GHz. Wi-Fi solutions from Laird combine hardware, software, certifications, and support services to ensure optimal performance in business-critical mobile devices. Their dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) support maximizes flexibility in how mobile devices are deployed and managed.

Information regarding these products can be found on the Wi-Fi Radio Modules webpage.