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The announcement last week from FCC Chairman Genachowski regarding plans to make available up to 195 MHz of additional spectrum for license-exempt use in the United States is terrific news for end users and industry alike, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance (www.wi-fi.org), a global non-profit industry association of hundreds of companies "devoted to seamless connectivity."
Wi-Fi has been an engine of social and economic benefit since 1999, and the proposed spectrum will provide an opportunity for technologies like Wi-Fi to continue to innovate, bringing further social and consumer benefits. With 5 GHz Wi-Fi devices delivering gigabit performance entering the market now, additional contiguous spectrum in 5 GHz means that users will have an even better experience with applications such as video.
Analyst firm ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com) forecasts that the annual number of Wi-Fi devices shipped globally will reach three billion by 2016, compared to 1.5 billion shipments in 2012. With phenomenal growth like that, it's easy to see why additional spectrum is needed.
By providing additional spectrum, and thereby creating a contiguous spectrum swath for Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz band, the FCC will ensure that the most value is extracted for the greatest number of users in this spectral band. The Wi-Fi Alliance supports this decision and is ready to collaborate with the Commission as it examines these issues.