FCC Says Apple Can Use Faster 6GHz Spectrum for Headsets, CarPlay, and More

The United States Federal Communications Commission today opened up 6GHz Wi-Fi spectrum to low power devices like AR/VR wearables (via The Verge). This means that AR/VR devices like Apple's Vision Pro headset will be able to operate on the 6GHz band, though it is unclear if the initial version of the Vision Pro will be able to take advantage of this functionality.

apple vision pro
Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and more teamed up in 2019 to ask the FCC to allow Very Low Power (VLP) devices that transmit at a low power threshold to use 6GHz spectrum without restrictions, which the FCC has now approved. The approval is for short range, tethered connections between two devices, such as the Vision Pro headset and an iPhone or an in-car system like CarPlay and an ‌iPhone‌.

Recognizing the need to provide even more flexibility and foster unlicensed innovation, the Commission established rules that permit devices that operate at very low power (VLP) across short distances and provide very high connection speeds, which are ideal for the types of high- data rate cutting-edge applications that will both enrich consumer experiences and bolster the nation's economy. These include, for example, advanced augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), wearable sensors and technologies, and variety of Internet of Things devices.

The FCC says that its new rules limit devices to low power levels and subject them to other technical requirements that will allow them to operate while protecting licenses that carriers have for 6GHz spectrum. Devices can, however, access higher power levels when subject to a geofencing system that prevents interference to licensed operations.

Tag: FCC

Top Rated Comments

Aston441 Avatar
26 weeks ago
Tinfoil crowd ain't liking 6GHz beamed into brain through eyeballs.

☢️
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MegaBlue Avatar
26 weeks ago

Anyone know what frequency Thread operates on? Interested to know the speed difference here. Thread is near instant for smart home things!
Thread is 2.4GHz.

It also only has a throughput of 250kbit/s, so probably not a good choice for things like Wireless CarPlay.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MegaBlue Avatar
26 weeks ago

The iPhone 15 Pro supports 6 GHz Wi-Fi. So remind me again why you can't use lossless AirPods with it?
Because there are no AirPods with anything operating on 6GHz Wi-Fi, perhaps?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jz0309 Avatar
26 weeks ago

Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Qualcomm, and more teamed up in 2019 to ask the FCC to allow Very Low Power (VLP) devices that transmit at a low power threshold to use 6GHz spectrum without restrictions, which the FCC has now approved.
what did the FCC do during those 4 years. I mean specifically on VLP? run tests? studied specs?
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ChrisA Avatar
26 weeks ago

Anyone know what frequency Thread operates on? Interested to know the speed difference here. Thread is near instant for smart home things!
Thread is not at all "high speed". It is designed to send very simple and short packets of data over a mesh network. It runs at 2.4 GHz so it is better for traveling through walls and such. Thread is designed for reliability, not speed.

6 GHz is not good for traveling through walls but is OK for the VERY short distances involved here. We are not even talking about getting across a room. maybe just "arm's length". or a little more.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Black Tiger Avatar
26 weeks ago
Every time I see a picture of this thing strapped to somebody’s head, I become more and more skeptical that anyone is going to wear this for more than a few hours before packing it up and sending it back for a refund. A cool tech demo. Totally ridiculous proposition for long term use.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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