DFS and channels higher than 48

  • Will DFS channels and channels higher than 48 ever be implemented to the alien router?

  • @Seeavling
    Ubiquiti is working on this along with the modifications/licensing for 160 Mhz channel bandwidth that comes along with 802.11ax.

    No ETA as of yet, but it IS in the works!

  • @Anthony_014

    I just found this thread -- I posted a similar message over in the 3.4.1 firmware thread this morning. (I realize it doesn't belong there and have asked to get it moved over here.)

    Just curious, how do you know that Ubiquiti is working on the things you mentioned?

    I dug into the FCC report and I'm surprised they didn't test the UNII-2A channels (52, 56, 60, and 64).



  • @gburlingame
    I'll be honest.. I DONT, really. I have seen it requested many times by other users on here, Reddit, you name it.. And Ubiquiti's reply is generally always something along the lines of "We understand, and we are working towards that common goal!" Since it IS such a big deal/popular request, I just find it hard to believe that they don't have at-least one guy working on it at all times. Ya know?

    I think what's really halting this is licensing and coordination with the FCC on being able to use DFS channels and such like you mentioned in your post. Also, the other big part is the ability to be able to utilize 160 Mhz channel widths, which ARE necessary to supplement 802.11ax theoretical throughputs.


  • @Anthony_014 Thanks for the super quick reply!

    The one thing I find troubling is that the product was submitted to the FCC for testing without support for the UNII-2A channels. That frequency range seems like table stakes for a product like this. Even the DFS channels seem like they are table stakes for a product of this caliber.

    What troubles me is the question of WHY did they do this. Typically you would want to get the product fully certified so you don't have to go back to the FCC, irrespective of the pandemic which I agree only makes matters worse. The FCC report is dated November 2019 -- well before the pandemic.

    My concern would be that they ran into some insurmountable hardware problem during development and pushed the product out instead of delaying its release to fix whatever is wrong. That would mean support of these bands is never going to happen or it will not be backwards compatible with legacy hardware. That would be a real bummer.

    I sure hope that's not the case and they can enable these frequency bands with a future software release.

    I also hope that they have been testing every Alien to make sure the RF performance in these bands is performing as expected. That way when (if?) they light up these bands, the vast majority of Alien's in the field will work as expected.

  • @gburlingame
    Of course, my friend! Happy to chat with other folks. Especially on tech stuff. 🙂

    I agree with you, the FCC filing IS weird, in the way that they did it...

    BUT, the Alien already has the sufficient hardware for full 801.11ax I believe. 8x8 MIMO is the biggest key there IMO.
    The ability to have 8 spatial streams at all times ensures some gnarly aggregate bandwidth, as well as better connectivity and modulation rates for connected devices.

    The good news as well, is that a 5 Ghz radio is a 5 Ghz radio. It for sure can transmit in DFS bands, it's just currently limited by software.

    Similar to Ubiquiti's enterprise wireless gear, some of their 5 Ghz legacy radios require a UNI rules Hexadecimal key from UBNT, that once applied to a given radio, allows transmit in those frequencies. I have a feeling we may see something similar to this with the final DFS/160 Mhz roll-out with the Alien. I could certainly be wrong, but I just have a hunch!

  • @Anthony_014 You are correct. We are working hard to complete compliance regulations! I will update this thread if we have an ETA.

  • @UI-AmpliFi Can you hint at all as to how this is being envisioned for mesh setups? For example, if you have 3 Alien Routers in a wired-backhaul mesh, the wifi bands for all 3 today differ (I assume to reduce overlap). With 80Mhz DFS Channels that may be challenging (how do you switch if radar is detected), or would you include the ability to choose them (which, for upper channel we can't today)?
    I.e. can you share a bit of what the plan is to implement DFS?

  • @UI-AmpliFi
    Great! Thank you for confirming. Hopefully everyone will see this and quit asking THE question. 🙂


  • Just want to add my +1 to this topic.

    This is the biggest feature I'm hoping for while living in a congested apartment building. I pay for 1 gigabit but only get up to 100Mbps on WiFi (full speed on ethernet). My neighbor has the same issue with the ISP provided router so pretty sure it is just the channel congestion in the area and not the hardware.

  • You may want to double check to see if your guest wifi is set up with its own ssid and password. I didn’t set mine up initially and for some reason it seemed to have affected my speeds. Once I did set it up properly it helped my speed immensely. Now I get anywhere from 500mbs to 700 mbps via WiFi. Over 900 mbps hardwired.

  • @alexfeldmeier
    You might try enabling the additional 5 Ghz radio.. Reason being is that considering you are in apartments with spectrum saturation... That will enable to you to be able to at-least run a spectrum/WiFi analyzer on your phone or computer, and change your "additional 5 Ghz" channel to something less congested. Even though it's not the 802.11ax network, you will likely still see much better speeds and latency!

    Hope this helps!

  • @Anthony_014
    Thanks for the suggestion but I already tried that. I even disconnected all devices except for the one I was speed testing on. The DFS channels are the only ones without much saturation and since I'm not by an airport (radar interference), I'm hoping that solves my problems.

  • @alexfeldmeier
    Gotcha. Well shoot man, bummer! I hope that the 160 Mhz/DFS roll-out comes soon for you!


  • @alexfeldmeier are all your Ethernet cables at least Cat 5e or higher?

  • @Seeavling
    Yeah, they're all Cat 6. Over ethernet, I get the full speed, it's only over WiFi that I get less. But it's still almost 100Mbps up/down so not a huge deal.

  • @alexfeldmeier I hear you. If and when DFS is enabled with Alien, it'd be interesting to see how the channel overlap is handled. For example, 2.4 and 5Ghz (AX) channels are different from node to node if you have, say, 3 Aliens in a house in an ethernet backhaul scenario (to avoid overlap). That happens even if you hard-chose CH11 (or 36) in the app. For DFS to work, Amplifi needs to give us some level of control of the channels in a way the upper spectrum is not exposed today (UNII-3).
    And if Radar is detected and forced a channel change, does that chance all of them, or just one? Do they sync up so that changing channels on one Alien changes the others too?
    Don't know of any Mesh routers out there that have handled DFS yet...?

  • @Daniel-Osers
    Those are really good points I didn't even think of. I'm curious to know why they don't give us control over the upper 5GHz band's channel. It's such a standard feature in other routers.

  • @alexfeldmeier Compliance.. The device must be certified before we allow this feature.

  • @UI-AmpliFi
    I know the device has to be certified for DFS but does it have to have a special certification for manually selecting 149-161? If so, I wasn't aware of that but I'm always learning new things about networking technology so wouldn't be surprised.

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