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ABRINT collaborates with DSA, Broadcom, Cisco to boost use of Wi-Fi in 6 GHz band in Brazil

February 28, 2023

Posted by: Shriya Raban

Wireless broadband access in Brazil will be expanded through the standard power unlicensed use of the 6 GHz as a result of a partnership between civil association for Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Brazil (ABRINT) and the Dynamic Spectrum Alliance (DSA), alongside its member companies Broadcom Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.

With the publishing of public consultation N° 79 in November 2022, Brazilian regulator ANATEL has proposed the outdoor use of the 6 GHz band by Access Points (classified as restricted radiation equipment) under the control of Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) systems. If enacted, this would further advance broadband connectivity throughout Brazil by allowing outdoor use for Access Points at higher powers to increase the coverage area.

In addition, standard power operations will allow ISPs to expand their internet coverage by extending the fibre coverage another few kilometers via a wireless point to point microwave link, whilst protecting existing licensed operations in the band.

To this end, ABRINT is partnering with the DSA and its member companies Broadcom and Cisco, to provide AFC technology and capability to ISP operators in Brazil. Both Broadcom and Cisco are the founders of the Telecom Infra Project’s Open AFC Software Project, which is designing a fully functioning open AFC platform that can be downloaded by members to provision AFC services.

“All parties involved in this exciting partnership believe that this will benefit Brazilian users with improved broadband connectivity,” says Martha Suarez, president of the DSA. “The DSA looks forward to working with ABRINT under this agreement and would like to compliment ANATEL for its leadership in providing reliable Wi-Fi for all Brazilians.”

In 2021, ANATEL enabled Brazil to become one of the first countries to open up unlicensed access in the 5925 – 7125 MHz band for low power indoor devices and very low power portable devices. This greatly advanced the country’s connectivity goals and helped support over 20,000 ISPs to provision more reliable W-Fi using the 6 GHz band. Today, ISPs lead in growth and market share, providing Internet connectivity for more than 50% of nearly 45 million fixed access points, which are mostly enabled via fiber to the home (FTTH). The agreement between ABRINT, DSA and its member companies will provide further support to the ISPs across Brazil, with the aim to provide reliable Wi-Fi for all.

“This will strengthen cooperation between these entities and provide the rollout for information exchange to maximise the full benefits of 6 GHz Wi-Fi,” says Mauricelio Oliveira junior, director general of ABRINT. “Whether Wi-Fi 6E today, or Wi-Fi 7 in the near future, it will ensure that existing services are protected from interference.”

The capabilities are currently designed around the US and Canadian requirements, but as a result of the new collaboration, Broadcom and Cisco have committed to modifying the Open AFC code to meet the requirements of Brazil, once finalised by the regulator. The DSA will be responsible for training ISPs on AFC, and how it can be used to provision wireless services.

“Broadcom is thrilled to partner with ABRINT to further accelerate and support the forward leaning 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum policies being enacted by ANATEL,” says Christopher Szymanski, director of product marketing for the wireless communications and connectivity division at Broadcom. “We applaud ANATEL’s dedication to enabling Brazilian Internet Service Providers to level up the broadband experience for their subscribers. We are fully committed through Open AFC to develop an individualised AFC platform for Brazil that can be used by operators to provision outdoor and higher caliber wireless internet once ANATEL enables standard power 6 GHz Wi-Fi.”

“Cisco has been a proud partner in Brazil for over 25 years, with a new WebEx call centre and in-country manufacturing operations that will soon include Wi-Fi 6E devices,” says Matt MacPherson, wireless CTO at Cisco. “This collaboration with ABRINT is just the latest example of our company’s commitment to Brazil’s digital acceleration. ANATEL has led Latin America in making the full 6 GHz band available for Wi-Fi. Creating a Brazil-focused Open AFC platform capitalises on that leadership and will help ensure that all Brazilians have access to the high-quality wireless service that comes from standard power 6GHz Wi-Fi.”

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