12/07/2006

Ofcom considering raising power limits in License Excempt bands

Ofcom has today issued a consultation on raising the power limits on the 2.4GHz band and the 5.8GHz lightly licensed band.

There are MOD users in 5.8GHz, but there is an EU directive which proposes to raise the power limit from 2W EIRP to 4W EIRP and Ofcom will comply with the recommendation and see no other changes from how it current operates.

Ofcom are considering raising the limit on 2.4GHz to 10W, this is a considerable increase as the current limit is 100mW EIRP.

They are considering 3 options: -

* Allow the increased power anywhere i.e. no geographic consideration.

* Allow the increased power in rural areas where effects are minimised. Devices would be required to be location aware and only transmit at higher powers if they were in appropriate areas.

* Allow increased power in all but large and major urban conurbations. Devices wouldn't need to be location aware, but there would be a mandatory registration scheme and users would need to adhere to a code so interference issues were minimised.

This could give a much need boost to broadband services utilising both bands, but this completely ignores the health risks as 2.4GHz is the frequency microwave ovens use and 10W though low power could have significant health risks.
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