At the IEEE 802 Plenary meeting in Montreal, Canada in July 2022, the formation of the Ultra High Reliability Study Group (UHR SG) to develop a Project Authorization Request (PAR) and a Criteria for Standards Development (CSD) for a new 802.11 MAC/PHY amendment was approved. Until May 2023, which is the target start time of the task group, the Study Group will be investigating technology that may improve the reliability of WLAN connectivity, reduce latencies, increase manageability, increase throughput including at different SNR levels and reduce device-level power consumption .
Since the formation of the UHR SG, many companies and researchers have presented their technological perspectives on how to achieve the new targets for next-generation Wi-Fi. While the researchers seem to agree on the consideration of some aspects including multi-AP coordination , low latency operation  and use of wider bandwidth , they have different approaches to including the mmWave band  in the operation of the next-generation Wi-Fi.
Until now, earlier Wi-Fi radios based on IEEE 802.11 standards have been operating in the sub-7 GHz band. Among these radios, 802.11ac and 802.11ax radios have been operating in the 5 GHz and 2.4/5/6 GHz bands, respectively. The most recent 802.11be radios that are still undergoing the standardization process will also be operating in the 2.4/5/6 GHz bands. For the next-generation Wi-Fi, it has been discussed in the newly formed UHR SG that whether to include mmWave bands in addition to the sub-7 GHz bands is advantageous or not.
On one side, some companies and researchers argue that technologies requiring major hardware modifications including new band support, and additional or more complex antennas historically have progressed much slower compared to technologies with major MAC/PHY development but more limited hardware modifications . They point out to Access Points (APs) and Stations (STAs) with fewer antennas becoming a norm in the market. In addition, they mention that the adoption of the new 1.2 GHz spectrum, which was recently made available in many regions of the world, would take time, suggesting waiting for one or more generations of Wi-Fi cycles before utilizing the mmWave band.
On the other side, some other companies and researchers are of the opinion that it is the right time to include mmWave in the next-generation Wi-Fi . They see mmWave operation as a lighthouse feature of the next-generation Wi-Fi, and indicate that this is a good time to start a new long-term Wi-Fi roadmap to achieve single user throughput in the order of 10 Gbps. They also indicate that the inclusion of the new band will make it competitive with cellular technology in the mmWave band. On the other hand, they think that defining the scope clearly for the mmWave band in UHR is important. Limiting the scope to simple use cases, such as single-user transmissions, and incorporating optimizations in future generations could be one way to go forward. Thus, the scope for mmWave operation in UHR could be basic such as including PHY design for OFDM operation by considering lower band design and upclocking, simple beamforming training sequence design and minor adaptations to multi-link operation .
Nevertheless, despite the two opposite views on the use of the mmWave band, some other companies and researchers are also investigating and discussing the challenges in the design of Wi-Fi systems for the mmWave band. A decision on whether the next-generation Wi-Fi will operate in the mmWave Band or not will be made in the upcoming months.
 Some questions to answer for UHR PAR, IEEE 802.11-22/1595r1
 Multi AP coordination for next-generation Wi-Fi, IEEE 802.11-22/1530r1
 Requirements of Low Latency in UHR, IEEE 802.11-22/1519r0
 Potential PHY Features for UHR, IEEE 802.11-22/1466r0
 RR-TAG mmWave Spectrum Survey, IEEE 802.11-22/1398r4
 Next Gen After 11be: Band and Complexity Discussion, IEEE 802.11-22/1804r0
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Serhat Erkucuk is a Senior Technical Staff at Ofinno contributing to IEEE 802.11 standards. Dr. Erkucuk has more than 15 years of experience in conducting research on PHY/MAC layer design of emerging communication systems. He is a Marie Curie Fellow and a recipient of Governor General’s Gold Medal.