Faster wireless access

The European Commission has decided to make a substantial amount of radio spectrum available throughout the European Union for radio local area networks, more commonly known as Wi-Fi.


The European Commission has decided to make a substantial amount of radio spectrum available throughout the European Union for radio local area networks (RLANs), more commonly known as Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is commonly used to provide PC users with access to the Internet and private networks while they are on the move.

‘Today’s Commission decision will help industry to create innovative services, such as wireless Voice over IP, for a single European market,’ commented Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding.


The Commission’s decision, which is to be implemented by Member States by October 31 2005, makes two specific frequency bands (5150-5350 MHz and 5470-5725 MHz) available in all Member States for wireless access systems.


The decision also requires wireless providers to adopt “intelligent” techniques to protect other radio spectrum users against harmful interference, such as military radar and satellite services.


According to market analysts today’s 120 million Wi-Fi users world-wide (25 million in Western Europe) may grow to 500 million and more over the next 3 years, putting radio local area networks in the same league as cellular mobile in terms of consumer appeal.