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Wi-Fi adds '£1.5bn' to global economy

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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.

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.