Russian authorities will allocate frequencies for Apple to operate UWB – an analogue of Bluetooth

While in test mode – until October 2021.

Vedomosti reports that the Russian authorities from the Commission on Radio Frequencies (GRKCH) have tentatively agreed to give Apple permission to use the 6.2–8.2 GHz band required for Ultra Wide Band wireless technology.

The temporary permit must be approved on November 23, and it will last until October 2021 – during this time, the authorities want to make sure that UWB will not interfere with other devices and wireless networks.

UWB is an analogue of Bluetooth, it is a wireless standard for short distance data transmission developed by Intel and Motorola in the 90s. Apple devices with the U1 chip (iPhone 11 and 12, Apple Watch, Apple TV, HomePod mini) use UWB to determine the relative position of devices and transfer AirDrop files.

Determining the position of devices is useful, for example, for contactless connection of a smartphone to a smart speaker, for automatically detecting a device for transmitting data via AirDrop, and even automatically opening smart locks and car doors (for example, in some BMW models). The system determines not only the proximity of other devices, but also the direction in which they are located.

UWB is also used for as-yet-unannounced AirTags, which are small tags that can be attached to items and clothing to make them “visible” to devices with a U1 chip.

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