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EC Opens New Wi-Fi Wireless Spectrum

Posted: 15th Jul, 2005 By: MarkJ
The European Commission has agreed to open up 'part' of the 5GHz band for use by Wi-Fi (wireless) broadband services, such as local Hotspots etc. The new spectrum can support transfers of up to 50Mbps, which compares with 10Mbps under the 2.4GHz band.

It will be made available throughout the 25-nation European Union and the Commission wants member states to implement the move before November 2005.

Japan and the United States are also implementing rules for the use of 5 GHz range for Wi-Fi, which is also used by military and satellite services, the Commission said.

The frequency will also give consumers access to Voice over IP in hotspots around the world, allowing them to avoid the high roaming charges imposed by mobile phone companies.

The Commission said the number of hotspots in western Europe is expected to rise to 45,000 by the end of this year from 26,000. This compares with a current number of 29,400 in Asia-Pacific and 22,700 in the United States.

According to market analysts, the number of Wi-Fi users worldwide should rise to more than 500 million over the next three years from 120 million currently. Manufacturers have already started to ship equipment that can use part of the 5 GHz band and the existing band.
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