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Wi-Fi adds '£1.5bn' to global economy

The Wi-Fi Alliance has reiterated calls for adequate levels unlicensed spectrum to be made available to the wireless industry, arguing that Wi-Fi contributes $1.96 trillion (£1.49tn) to the global economy, a figure which is set to increase to $3.47 trillion (£2.64tn) by 2021.

Its survey into the economic impact of the technology takes into account factors like Wi-Fi’s role in improving consumer choice, creating new business models, improving access to communications services, complementing cellular and fixed broadband to boost their effectiveness.

Wi-Fi and the economy

Six individual countries were also assessed – the UK, US, France, Germany, Japan and South Korea – with the results claiming Wi-Fi contributes $54 billion (£41m) to the UK economy and $499 billion (£380bn) to the US.

“Wi-Fi has a powerful and often underestimated economic impact all over the world,“ said Edgar Figueroa, Wi-Fi Alliance CEO. “This study brings attention to the tremendous economic benefit from Wi-Fi, and underscores the importance of favourable spectrum policy to ensure Wi-Fi continues delivering even greater economic and societal benefits for many years to come.”

It hopes the survey will shed a light on the role of Wi-Fi in the economy. The Wi-Fi Alliance promotes the interests of wireless Internet vendors and certifies Wi-Fi products.

 Its members rely on the availability of unlicensed spectrum and works to protect the bands they use at a time when the mobile sector calls for more and more airwaves to support mobile broadband, including 5G.

GSMA, the mobile industry body, engages in similar lobbying activities for its members.