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Consumer demand will drive UWB regulation

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3GSM The European regulatory confusion surrounding Ultra Wide Band, and thus Wireless USB, will be solved by pressure from consumers once they see what the Americans, Chinese and Japanese can do with the technology, members of the consortium said today.

Wireless USB offers high-speed connections over short range, fast enough to run a second monitor or stream video around a house. But Ultra Wide Band, the technology on which Wireless USB is based, is completely different from the pick-a-frequency-and-stick-within-it mechanism currently used for wireless communications, and thus requires completely new regulation.

The USA has adopted a relaxed attitude to the technology allowing various flavours to be used freely, and the first Wireless USB kit is already available there. China and Japan look to be following suit, with more restrictions than the Americans but still managing early regulation.

ESTI, the body responsible for setting the regulations for Europe is still in discussions, and distinct differences exist between the member countries. It's hoped that the TG3 workgroup, who are debating the standard within ETSI, will reach a conclusion later this year but otherwise a rush of consumer interest is expected to force their hand.

"Grey imports will force Europe to adopt standards, and very quickly", said Jim Lansford, chief technology of officer of Alereon; maker of Wireless USB equipment.

Just as the UK was forced to legalise in-car FM transmitters for connecting MP3 players, because so many people were already using them, so the Wireless USB group believe we'll all ship their stuff in from abroad unless we can legally buy it in Europe.®

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