by TIP News

With regulatory approval of AFC Systems based on Open AFC in the United States, it is time to focus on international expansion via the Open AFC Project


March 26, 2024 — Today, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) celebrated the achievements of the Open Automated Frequency Coordination (Open AFC) Software Group, following the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) approval of three operators — Broadcom, Wi-Fi Alliance Services, and the Wireless Broadband Alliance — using the Open AFC software solution.

Established a little over two years ago, the TIP Open AFC Software Group was created to jumpstart the Standard Power Wi-Fi ecosystem. The industry group found success by collaborating to develop a fully functional AFC software platform that could be used to provision AFC service quickly and efficiently. The mission was fully realized by developing an AFC system for the U.S. market with an architecture that can scale across geographies. Since its formation, 285 people from 91 different organizations have joined the community, six organizations have applied to be AFC operators in the U.S., and three have now been approved by the FCC.

With the approval of these AFC systems, U.S. operators can now provide scalable Standard Power Wi-Fi, ushering in a new era for 6 GHz Wi-Fi that can operate outdoors and offer extended range indoor connectivity.

In order to commence the next phase of Open AFC development, TIP is graduating the Open AFC Software Group and posting a golden open source reference of the Open AFC Software on GitHub at The Open AFC Software Group will evolve to become the Open AFC Project, a fully open source platform that will continue upon the success at TIP and allow for international expansion and multi-stakeholder coordination, including — in some markets — collaboration among national telecommunications regulatory authorities, local institutes and universities, government agencies, and local industries.

The Open AFC Project, established by Broadcom, Cisco, CableLabs, Wi-Fi Alliance Services, and Wireless Broadband Alliance, is committed to working with the open source community to enhance the code base, implement new standards when appropriate, and expand Open AFC to cover new markets. Users of Open AFC can be confident the quality of the code will remain intact given three of the founding members have already been authorized to provision AFC service.


Christopher Szymanski, TIP Open AFC Software Group Co-Chair and Director of Product Marketing, Wireless Communications & Connectivity Division, Broadcom, said: “I am excited by the work that we have collectively accomplished within TIP to create the world’s first Open Source AFC software platform. With this, we have jumpstarted the Standard Power 6 GHz Wi-Fi ecosystem in the United States. With the approval of Broadcom, Wi-Fi Alliance Services, and Wireless Broadband Alliance, nearly half of the approved AFC operators in the U.S. are using the Open AFC code. I am excited to join with colleagues from Cisco, CableLabs, Wi-Fi Alliance Services, and Wireless Broadband Alliance to enable Standard Power Wi-Fi across the globe through the creation of the Open AFC Project.”


“Cisco, together with the founding members of the TIP Open AFC Software group, initiated development of an affordable and scalable open-source AFC system, designed to transform the 6GHz Wi-Fi industry and enhance its global accessibility and adoption. Through Open AFC efforts, we are establishing a foundation for a more interconnected and advanced world where the benefits of 6GHz Wi-Fi are available to everyone,” said Peiman Amini, TIP Open AFC Software Group Co-Chair and Principal Wireless Architect at Cisco.


Tiago Rodrigues, President and CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “Collaborating on Open AFC to enable a fit for purpose Standard Power 6 GHz deployment ecosystem has taken a great deal of work and effort across the organizations participating and sets the industry up for success not only in the US, where we are delighted to have been approved as an AFC operator, but across the globe as we see this rolled out across different nations and geographies. The Wireless Broadband Alliance is committed to serve its members and continue our mission to make Wi-Fi better and ensure seamless and secure connectivity for all.”


Kevin Robinson, President and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance Services, said: “Wi-Fi Alliance Services exists to drive the broadest possible adoption of 6 GHz, and Open AFC has been foundational to the success and development of our Wi-Fi AFC service. The Open AFC Project will build on the success of Open AFC, enabling open-source innovation that will allow Standard Power 6 GHz Wi-Fi to thrive globally. Wi-Fi Alliance Services is committed to working with this community to empower a robust global ecosystem.”


David Debrecht, Vice President of Wireless Technologies at CableLabs, said: “The brilliance of 6 GHz is the innovative sharing framework created by the FCC that enabled unlicensed technologies, such as Wi-Fi, to safely coexist with incumbent licensees. The AFC is a critical part of that framework that allows for the coordination among higher-power unlicensed use and licensed operations without negatively impacting local licensed services. Through CableLabs’ continued support of an Open Source AFC, spectrum sharing can be realized along with opportunities for multiple AFC venders in the ecosystem. All resulting in a benefit to the overall Wi-Fi industry across the world as well as improving and expanding access to wireless connectivity.”


Kristian Toivo, Executive Director of the Telecom Infra Project, said: “Within TIP, innovation flourishes through community collaboration. The achievements of the Open AFC Software Group underscore our collective dedication to advancing telecommunications. With diverse stakeholders coming together, we’ve not only propelled Standard Power Wi-Fi forward but also fostered a culture of open-source innovation. As TIP graduates the Open AFC Software Group, we invite the community to join in shaping the future of connectivity through the Open AFC Project.”


Get involved: The Open AFC Software Group welcomes other companies to join and contribute to the advancement of Open AFC. Find out more here.