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Ofcom Unhooks Ultra-Wideband (Wireless USB)
By: MarkJ - 09 August, 2007 (1:36 PM)

Ofcom has finally approved the use of Ultrawideband (UWB) technology for the mass market by removing the requirement to hold a licence for operation of related equipment.

Better known to some as 'Wireless USB', UWB is a short-range wireless network technology much like Bluetooth:

The technology could promote the convergence of communications devices and services by, for example, connecting personal computers, DVD players, portable music players and digital cameras without the need for wires. In addition, research has shown that devices that transfer data using UWB equipment use low power technologies which can enhance battery life compared with other wireless technologies.

UWB equipment is already exempt from the need to hold a licence in the US and Japan, and technology companies have started to develop and sell UWB products such as UWB home hubs for these markets.

UWB equipment will be made licence-exempt in the UK though the introduction of the Wireless Telegraphy (Ultra-Wideband Equipment) (Exemption) Regulations 2007, which will come into force on 13 August. Ofcom has participated in European negotiations to develop a common set of technical standards for UWB. Over the coming months, other EU members are expected to introduce the necessary legislation to allow approved UWB equipment to be used without a licence in their countries.

UWB equipment operates in spectrum bands between 3.1 to 10.6GHz and could make peripheral cables a thing of the past.


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