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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 August 2007, 14:45 GMT 15:45 UK
Digital home technology given OK
Family in a digital home
Ultra-wideband could connect multiple devices wirelessly
A wireless technology that could hasten the arrival of the connected digital home has been give the green light by media regulator Ofcom.

Ultra-Wideband (UWB), as it is known, can be used to connect devices such as PCs, mp3 players and digital cameras.

New legislation will mean UK users will not need a licence to use UWB devices when they hits shelves in the future.

UWB uses part of the radio spectrum to transfer large amounts of data, such as media files, over short distances.

Data can be shifted over distances of around 30m at up to 2 gigabits per second. However, its main use will be over much shorter distances for wireless USB, enabling a host of devices to connect to a PC without cables.

Market approval

Technologies that use the radio spectrum normally require a licence for their use so that Ofcom can regulate any interference between spectrum users, such as radio stations or the emergency services.


However, UWB equipment is low powered which means that it should not interfere with other spectrum users.

Technology companies have already started to develop and sell UWB products to US and Japanese markets.

"Where possible, we want to remove restrictions on the use of spectrum to allow the market to develop new and innovative services, such as UWB, for the benefit of consumers," said Ofcom's Chief Executive Ed Richards.

The introduction of the Wireless Telegraphy (Ultra Wideband Equipment Exemption) Regulations 2007 on 13 August will allow the use of approved UWB equipment without a licence.

Ofcom's decision to deregulate UWB was made in response to European negotiations for a common set of UWB technical standards.

Other EU members are expected to introduce similar legislation in coming months.

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