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USA to Release Additional Spectrum for Wi-Fi Users

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The US telecoms regulator has outlined plans to release up to 195 megahertz of spectrum in the 5Ghz band for use by Wi Fi devices. This would be the largest block of unlicensed spectrum to be made available for expansion of Wi Fi since 2003.

The expectation is that this will help reduce congestion in Wi-Fi hotspots and increase the available spectrum for Gigabit Wi-Fi by 35 percent.

Chairman Genachowski said, "We all know the frustration of Wi-Fi congestion at conferences and airports. Today, the FCC is moving to bring increased speed and capacity to Wi-Fi networks by increasing the amount of unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi. As this spectrum comes on line, we expect it to relieve congested Wi-Fi networks at major hubs like convention centers and airports. It will also help in homes as tablets and smartphones proliferate and video use rises."

In addition to efforts such as the announcement to improve on existing Wi-Fi networks, the FCC has taken steps in recent years to unleash the potential of next-generation unlicensed spectrum. Next- generation unlicensed spectrum is in lower frequencies than existing Wi-Fi, and enables wireless communications to travel longer distances and better penetrate barriers like walls and provide improved coverage over hilly terrain.

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Tags: wi-fi  fcc  USA