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Regulatory vs technical considerations WiFi 7 and 6GHz band

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aublumberg

Regular Contributor
Trying to understand what the regulatory vs technical aspects are to consider when it comes to WiFi 7 and the 6GHz band. As we know the new ASUS WiFi 7 product range will have 'Pro' and 'non-Pro' editions. The 'Pro' edition has 2x6GHz bands and 1x5GHz band whilst the 'non-Pro' edition has 1x6GHz band and 2x5GHz bands. Examples are the GT-BE98 Pro and GT-BE98, or the ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro and ZenWiFi BQ16.

We also know that for what appear to be regulatory reasons, ASUS at the current time is offering the 'Pro' editions (with the 2x6GHz bands) in North America and the 'non-Pro' editions in other markets e.g. Europe and Asia. What I'm trying to understand better are the technical aspects of the 'Pro' editions outside of North America.

1. Will the 'Pro' edition and the 2x6GHz bands work just like they do in North America? Is there any 'auto-blocking' / 'geo-blocking' if the device is operated outside of North America (I assume no since the router to my knowledge doesn't have location awareness, or does it)?
2. Is there a particular configuration setting that is important to ensure the 'Pro' features fully functions, i.e. the 2x6GHz bands are operating fully if used outside of North America? Any country / location setting for example? Of course the bands have to be enabled in the WiFi settings, but is there anything else?
3. The reason I'm trying to understand this is to use one of the 6GHz bands for wireless Mesh backhaul for rooms where I don't have a wired connection. Can I freely determine which band is used for wireless backhaul and 'force' a 6Ghz band to be used such that I still have 1x5GHz and 1x6GHz band available for device connectivity?
4. Anything else to consider?

Thanks for any pointers, appreciated.
 
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The operating system will not allow your client to use the 6 GHz band if the local regulations don't allow it, or if the regulatory database in your OS hasn't been updated yet.

Is not just about the router, the client needs to be authorized to use that band as well.
 
Very fair point regarding the client devices, well noted.

What is your view on the router side and wireless backhaul? Would that work regardless of country and regulation you think?
I cannot recommend anyone to run devices not intended for their country, both for technical and legal reasons.
 
Trying to understand what the regulatory vs technical aspects are to consider when it comes to WiFi 7 and the 6GHz band. As we know the new ASUS WiFi 7 product range will have 'Pro' and 'non-Pro' editions. The 'Pro' edition has 2x6GHz bands and 1x5GHz band whilst the 'non-Pro' edition has 1x6GHz band and 2x5GHz bands. Examples are the GT-BE98 Pro and GT-BE98, or the ZenWiFi BQ16 Pro and ZenWiFi BQ16.

We also know that for what appear to be regulatory reasons, ASUS at the current time is offering the 'Pro' editions (with the 2x6GHz bands) in North America and the 'non-Pro' editions in other markets e.g. Europe and Asia. What I'm trying to understand better are the technical aspects of the 'Pro' editions outside of North America, and in particular for use in Hong Kong and Thailand.

Assuming, I am able to obtain the 'Pro' editions in Asia and for those two markets ...

1. Will the 'Pro' edition and the 2x6GHz bands work just like they do in North America? Is there any 'auto-blocking' / 'geo-blocking' if the device is operated outside of North America (I assume no since the router to my knowledge doesn't have location awareness, or does it)?
2. Is there a particular configuration setting that is important to ensure the 'Pro' features fully functions, i.e. the 2x6GHz bands are operating fully if used outside of North America? Any country / location setting for example? Of course the bands have to be enabled in the WiFi settings, but is there anything else?
3. The reason I'm trying to understand this is to use one of the 6GHz bands for wireless Mesh backhaul for rooms where I don't have a wired connection. Can I freely determine which band is used for wireless backhaul and 'force' a 6Ghz band to be used such that I still have 1x5GHz and 1x6GHz band available for device connectivity?
4. Anything else to consider?

To further simplify the scenario let's assume no legacy routers in the Mesh network, just a combo of BE98 Pro and BQ16 Pro routers.

Thanks for any pointers, appreciated.
I think the main reason why the Pro versions were offered in North America first is because both the US FCC and Canadian communications regulator released the entire 6Ghz spectrum for unlicensed wireless (Wifi 6E/7) use. So the GT-BE98 Pro with its 2 X 6Ghz bands will be able to fully utilise the entire 6Ghz bandwidth in that region.

Elsewhere in Europe and Asia, most of the communications regulators are still considering whether to do the same or to allocate the remaining half of the 6Ghz spectrum for future 5G/6G mobile network usage. So even if people in those regions were to get the Pro editions, they wouldn't be able to access the whole range of 320Mhz channels that the 2 X 6Ghz radios can potentially provide.

From the Wifi Alliance's tracking page, it seems that Hong Kong is still considering whether to release the rest of the 6Ghz band for Wifi use while Thailand only approved the lower half.

 
Very fair point regarding the client devices, well noted.

What is your view on the router side and wireless backhaul? Would that work regardless of country and regulation you think?
Wireless backhaul should still work regardless of region, just that there'll be a smaller number of channels for the 2 X 6Ghz radios to choose from unless you happen to have a house that has some form of RF shielding to circumvent the geo-blocking on the router and client sides...

Handy list here on Wikipedia on the number of channels you'll be able to use in Hong Kong in 320Mhz and 160Mhz.

6 GHz (802.11ax and 802.11be)

 
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I live in Hong Kong and my understanding is the upper 6 GHZ channels are restricted. All WiFi 6E/7 routers needed to be inspected and have their upper channels blocked ( by firmware) in order to be sold in Hong Kong but not client devices. I think if u buy a router form Amazon, one shall able to use the upper 6GHZ channels in Hong Kong because client devices are never inspected.
 
I think if u buy a router form Amazon, one shall able to use the upper 6GHZ channels in Hong Kong because client devices are never inspected.

The 6GHz channels are not harmonized globally...

I'd be a bit concerned in Hong Kong these days, as the PRC doesn't appreciate folks being bold... and they don't f**k around...

It's just not worth having the police knocking down your door, shooting your dog, and having your wife and kids sitting on the curb watching you do the perp walk in cuffs...
 
Wouldn't client devices refuse to use the upper channels because the operating system's regulatory database would not enable these channels? At least with Linux and Windows, wireless clients will use that database to determine which channels are allowed. So it won't matter what router you use.

It was a problem in Canada, where Industry Canada allowed the use of the 6 GHz channels, but it took over 9 months for both Windows and Linux to update their regulatory database and start allowing the use of that frequency on my Intel AX210.
 
Yes, that was the idea. Received my 2 x GT-BE98 Pro from Amazon this week and set them up as mesh via Wireless - 6 GHz-1 backhaul, leaving the 2.4 / 5 and the second 6 Ghz bands available. Tested speed from a wired computer connected to the mesh node and satisfied, given a 2,500 Mbps rated ISP link.
Where u live, are you able to use the 6 GHz -2 for other devices as well?
 
Latin america here, I can use 6GHz band with my Samsung S24 Ultra but my Alienware X17R2 (Killer AX1675 WiFi Card) cannot even see 6GHz SSID, no matter what driver version I use, those regulatory validations are made for each device.
 
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Wouldn't client devices refuse to use the upper channels because the operating system's regulatory database would not enable these channels? At least with Linux and Windows, wireless clients will use that database to determine which channels are allowed. So it won't matter what router you use.

True - even in the DFS space down in 5GHz, devices had to do passive search for given bands/blocks - and in those bands, that's a lot of spectrum to search, 20 MHz at a time for a useful 802.11 control channel in the analog domain, which is needed before even considering decoding a beacon frame and making a decision to jump over from a good wifi channel in other bands...

And that's from a client perspective - for AP's this also applies, but they're limited by regulatory rules for the particular bands...
 

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