Google, Microsoft, and Apple petition for VLP Wi-Fi tethering

Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, HP, Qualcomm, Intel, Broadcom, and Marvell — nine of the biggest names in the industry, united for a cause.

Seeing the likes of Apple, Google, and Microsoft in the same team might seem unrealistic, but, according to Wi-Fi Now (Via The Verge), all three of these giants are equally motivated to let devices freely take advantage of the 6GHz Wi-Fi spectrum.

Last year, the FCC unanimously approved the opening of the 6GHz band for unlicensed activity. This approval has freed up an enormous 1,200MHz real estate for all devices to communicate through, without having to rely on cellular. As expected, cellular giants have not been impressed with the announcement and want the FCC to sell a large chunk of the 6GHz band to cellular, which, as per their claim, would help the US become a leader in 5G communication.

The hardware manufacturers, of course, don’t want the FCC to sway in cellular’s favor. So, they have petitioned for a new Very Low Power (VLP) category of Wi-Fi, which would allow small devices, such as smartphones, to use the 6GHz band without restrictions.

As utilities like power and water also use the 6GHz microwave antennas, there have been concerns about malicious interference. But the companies have reassured that their VLP category of point-to-point Wi-Fi won’t cause interference in any way. As per claims, VLP would provide short-range connection, delivering up to 2Gbps at a distance of 3 meters.

Similar to cellular companies’ claims, these nine tech goliaths have also asserted that the approval of VLP is important for the proliferation of 5G, declaring that products like VR headsets, AR glasses, and in-vehicle entertainment require high-speed Wi-Fi tethering to make full use of 5G speeds.

From a user’s perspective, the approval of the proposed VLP system seems more beneficial, especially due to mobile carriers’ ever-increasing per-device monthly fees. As for the FCC, it’s difficult to say which argument would resonate with them — USA’s 5G domination through cellular or AR/VR revolution through VLP Wi-Fi.

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