Understanding Consumer Perspectives on 6GHz Band

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Internet has had a pervasive impact on human life and has accelerated a ‘connected living’ future. The need for internet was further compounded and realised during the COVID-19 pandemic, post which the demand for internet in India increased by over 50 percent. Access to high-speed internet has become a necessity for socio-economic growth as well as crucial for services.

High-speed internet can be accessed through broadband services (WiFi). In India, WiFi primarily operates on the 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz spectrum bands. However, experts opine that these spectrum bands are congested and overcrowded. In the backdrop of increasing device density and availability of lesser bandwidth for internet usage, survey findings indicated that 2 in 3 broadband users in India struggle with either connectivity issues or lower speeds than what they paid for. In light of these woes, experts have raised concerns regarding the adequacy of existing bands to support current internet needs and evolving technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR).

There have been representations by subject experts to open frequencies, particularly in the 6 Ghz band, as it is expected that freeing spectrum would decongest existing spectrum bands and lead to better connectivity. Further, there may be several additional benefits of the 6 Ghz band, including lower latency, better security, and support to several devices such as routers, laptops, phones, among others.

In light of the above, it is imperative to understand, and highlight consumer perspectives regarding challenges and concerns arising from broadband services operating in the existing bands, preferences, possible benefits and expectations from the new 6 Ghz band. Accordingly, CUTS is executing astudy to understand and build nuanced understanding of consumers’ current experiences, challenges, expectations and the need for WiFi 6E.

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Sidharth Narayan, Policy Analyst
Email: sid@cuts.org
Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS)
D–217, Bhaskar Marg, Bani Park, Jaipur 302016, Rajasthan, India
Ph: +91 141 2282821, Fax: +91 141 2282485