Saudi Arabia Opens Full 6 GHz Band for Wi-Fi

Today, the Communications & Information Technology Commission (CITC) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia formally announced plans to make 1200 megahertz (MHz) of the 6 gigahertz (GHz) wireless spectrum available for unlicensed use. Intel and Broadcom, in conjunction with the Wireless Broadband Alliance, helped support CITC’s historic decision through collaboration on Wi-Fi 6E router to PC trials, which showcased the multi-gigabit speeds possible when leveraging the additional seven 160 MHz channels available in the 6 GHz band.

For nearly 20 years, Wi-Fi technologies have used the same limited wireless spectrum in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. During this time, the number of people and devices that rely on Wi-Fi connectivity across homes, schools, offices, hospitals, factories and public venues has grown exponentially. Typical Wi-Fi use cases such as videoconferencing and collaboration, high-fidelity media sharing and streaming, and real-time cloud applications have become more latency sensitive and bandwidth dependent. Even with significant generational improvements and reliance on larger channels in the 5 GHz band, Wi-Fi 6 and other new technologies must share the same congested spectrum with older devices – severely impacting performance and reliability.

CITC’s decision to open the entire 6 GHz band for unlicensed use will enable Wi-Fi 6E and future Wi-Fi 7 technologies to deliver a giant leap in performance — unencumbered by legacy Wi-Fi — and will help foster continued innovation. Today, Saudi Arabia joins the U.S., U.K., EU, South Korea, Brazil and others in accelerating the evolution of Wi-Fi around the world.

“Intel would like to congratulate the CITC on its transformative direction to approve the entire 6 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use,” said Eric McLaughlin, vice president, Intel Client Computing Group, and general manager, Wireless Solutions Group. “We are honored to have been able to contribute to the Wi-Fi 6E trials which helped support CITC’s historic decision alongside our industry colleagues at Broadcom and the Wireless Broadband Alliance. With this new spectrum allocation, Saudi Arabia is well positioned to lead the regional transition to Wi-Fi 6E and future Wi-Fi 7 technologies that will broadly enable ultra-low latency and gigabit-speed Wi-Fi capabilities to meet growing connectivity needs worldwide.”