Qualcomm wins 6 GHz AFC authority in Canada

Canadian authorities have given Qualcomm Technologies the distinction of being an Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) system administrator, making Qualcomm the world’s first AFC system operator approved for commercial operation.

In the U.S., Qualcomm and others received conditional AFC approval in December 2022, but they’re still waiting for the final sign-off from the FCC. Once approved, Wi-Fi devices in the 6 GHz band will then be capable of operating at up to 63 times higher RF signals compared with low power indoor usage. They will also be allowed for use outdoors.

In Canada, the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) was the entity that gave Qualcomm the AFC designation. It means the Qualcomm AFC system is available for operation in Canada, making it the first in the world to enable high-power devices in the 6 GHz band.

Qualcomm said its AFC solution is a complete end-to-end offering to enable 6 GHz Wi-Fi standard power operation.

According to the San Diego-based company, the Qualcomm AFC solution supports location-based power optimization for 6 GHz transmission. The system encompasses an access point agent and cloud system using standards-defined interfaces to support interoperability across 6 GHz network deployment, including Wi-Fi 6E, Wi-Fi 7 and beyond.

“We are excited by and applaud the approval from Canadian Innovation, Science and Economic Development,” said Ganesh Swaminathan, vice president and general manager, Wireless Infrastructure and Networking at Qualcomm, in a statement. “With our complete AFC solution, we are positioned to deploy scalable, turnkey cloud-to-silicon services to maximize 6 GHz Wi-Fi performance. With this approval, we can now accelerate our customers’ Standard Power access point deployments in Canada and stand ready to expand to other regions.”

Besides Qualcomm, the entities conditionally approved by the FCC to operate AFC systems in the 6 GHz band in the U.S. are Broadcom, Google, Comsearch, Sony Group, Kyrio, Key Bridge Wireless, Nokia Innovations, Federated Wireless, Wireless Broadband Alliance, Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA), Plume Design and RED Technologies.