Open AFC Group Looks to Facilitate Use of 6 GHz Spectrum to Expand Wi-Fi

Broadcom, Cisco and Facebook have joined together to help accelerate the commercialization of 6 GHz Wi-Fi devices through the launch of the Open Automated Frequency Coordination (Open AFC) Software Group within the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).

Many countries, including the United States, Canada and Brazil, as well as the EU, have approved or are close to approving 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum use, which will open a considerable amount of bandwidth for Wi-Fi services.

The FCC was the first regulator to enable 6 GHz use under an AFC. ISED Canada authorized standard power with AFC in May 2021. Regulators in other countries are expected to follow.


To help enable AFC usage, the Open AFC Software Group plans to develop a common reference open source software. The AFC system would be used by unlicensed devices in the newly available 6 GHz band to operate outdoors and with increased indoor range while ensuring incumbent services are protected.

The 6 GHz opportunity is large, with $527.5 billion in incremental economic benefits to the global economy, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance. But for such benefits to be realized, standard outdoor power operations are critical for enabling more affordable wireless broadband for consumer access, according to the Telecom Infra Project.

“The creation of the TIP Open AFC Software Group represents the immense momentum behind unlicensed spectrum and the potential it holds to deliver innovation,” said Rakesh Thaker, Cisco vice president of wireless engineering, in a prepared statement.

“Many of the applications and use cases we’re just beginning to dream up with the introduction of Wi-Fi 6 and the 6 GHz spectrum will rely on standard power, greater range and reliability. This software group will play an important role in ensuring those applications can become reality, while also protecting important incumbent services. We’re thrilled to join Broadcom and Facebook on this effort, and to share a vision with TIP of providing high-quality, reliable connectivity for all.”


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