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EC wants more WiFi spectrum to ease mobile data demands

02 Aug 2013

The European Commission has proposed that available WiFi spectrum is widened in order to lessen the burden on mobile data services due to the ever-increasing demand for information on-the-go.

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

Kroes is suggesting opening up the 5150MHz to 5925MHz spectrum globally for WiFi.

A European Commission study found that 71 percent of all EU wireless data traffic in 2012 was delivered to smartphones and tablets via WiFi, and recommends that the ever increasing demand be acted upon in order to meet the 66 percent annual increase in data demand.

Kroes said: "Systems where you share your WiFi 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."

The study also recommends that the 2.6 and 3.5 GHz bands should be "fully available" for mobile traffic, and that licensing options for the 3.5GHz spectrum be reviewed. It also argued the administrative burden of offloading 4G services – using WiFi to complete long-range mobile data transfers – should be reduced. 

Last week, Neelie Kroes expressed huge frustration as more than half of EU countries failed to meet their deadlines for rolling out 4G mobile networks. "I'm on the side of the citizens, the taxpayers, the voters, who just want their phones and tablets to work," she said.

"It's frustrating when my phone stops working in Brussels because we only have 3G. Millions share my frustration every day."

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Michael Passingham

Michael Passingham joined V3 as a reporter in June 2013. Prior to working at V3, Michael spent time at computing magazine PC Pro. Michael covers IT skills, social media, tech startups and also produces V3's video content.

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