Broadband News

Ofcom consults on higher power level for some wireless networks

The power limits on the licence exempt frequency bands 2.4GHz and 5.xGHz are under review by Ofcom, and a consultation process is running until 20th September 2006. The full set of documents and how to respond if you have any useful input is on the Ofcom website.

The core part of the consultation is whether power limits can be raised to 10W for the 2.4GHz band, and 25W for the 5.xGHz band. This is a substantial increase on the existing 0.1W that the 2.4GHz band is allowed. The 2.4GHz band is that used by hot-spot operators to provide Wi-Fi access, and while Wi-Fi wireless signals are attenuated by almost anything, the prospect of higher power will allow providers to deploy less hot-spots to cover an area, or perhaps deploy just one transmitter for a village.

The increases in power output are pretty large, and how issues like interference is handled will be considered. With the concerns often raised about the location of mobile phone masts, if the power levels increase for Wi-Fi networks we may see similar problems arising for hot-spot operators.


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