ITU approves additional WLAN spectrum

After more than three weeks of discussions, negotiators at an international radio frequency conference have agreed to allocate additional spectrum to the increasingly popular wireless LAN (WLAN) Internet technology.

Delegates to the 180-nation World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC) in Geneva reached a final agreement Thursday to add 455 MHz of new spectrum in the 5 GHZ band for WLANs, and were expected sometime Friday to sign off on the accord, said Gary Fowlie, a spokesman for the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which heads up the WRC event.

"For the industry, this agreement means that companies will be able to build much larger and more complex networks to handle many more users and different types of applications than they are able to do today," said Rob Jansen, product marketing manager at Proxim.

Under the agreement, 100 MHz of spectrum in the 5.150-5.250 GHZ band will be allocated for indoor WLAN use, while an additional 355 MHz, in the 5.250-5.350 GHz and 5.470-5.725 GHz bands, will be allocated for mixed indoor and outdoor use, according to Jansen.

He defined indoor use as a WLAN signal that starts and ends in a building, say, between an access point and a notebook. Outdoor use, he said, involves signals that are generated outside buildings and linked with devices that are also outside.

Graig Barratt, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Atheros Communications, referred to the Geneva agreement in a statement as a "defining moment for the WLAN industry as a whole." Specifically, the decision will allow 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g networks to offer nine times as many non-overlapping channels as 802.11b and 802.11g-only networks in the U.S. and seven times as many non-overlapping channels in Europe, he said.

Many E.U. governments have restricted outdoor WLAN use due to possible interference problems with aircraft-naviagtion systems, Earth-sensing satellites and other radar technology. "Spectrum in the 5-GHz band, especially in Europe, is very crowded and interference is a big issue," said Sarah Harris, an industry analyst with Strategy Analytics. "The additional spectrum will help establish a guard band to prevent spillage into the public realm."

But some governments, such as France, may decide to continue prohibiting the use of certain bands outdoors, particularly in the 5.4 GHz range, according to Jansen. "France has had a military issue with this band," he said. "Each country is still free to decide which bands it will open up to the public."

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Blau

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?