Europe Calls for More WI-Fi Spectrum to Be Released

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A new European Commission study has found that people are flocking to use Wi Fi internet and the trend is set to continue. 71% of all EU wireless data traffic in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets using Wi Fi, possibly rising to 78% by 2016.

The results show how the cheaper cost to consumers of using Wi-Fi hotspots is changing behaviour, and the study recommends extra spectrum be made available across the EU to support this rising demand.

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes said: "Wi-Fi is a huge success. It's a win for everybody involved. I will make sure the European Commission helps to spread use of Wi-Fi through extra spectrum and lighter regulation."

"Systems where you share your Wi-Fi network with others are a great example of how we can crowd-source a better internet for everyone. Everyone in Europe should be able to benefit from internet when they are away from home and work," Neelie Kroes added.

According to the study, wider use of these technologies could allow operators to save tens of billions of euros as they go about upgrading networks to meet customer demand. Consumers would save money by using Wi-Fi instead of paying for mobile data when they are actually near a Wi-Fi hotspot. Small cells can also extend network coverage into hard to reach places, including inside large buildings.

The study recommends that spectrum from 5150 MHz to 5925 MHz is made available globally for Wi-Fi services.

It also recommends continuing to making the 2.6 GHz and the 3.5 GHz bands fully available for mobile use and to consult on future licensing options for 3.5 GHz and other potential new licensed mobile frequency bands.

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