Wireless manufacturers are delaying the launch of Wi-Fi products for the 5GHz spectrum until European governments endorse the radio spectrum.
The 802.11h Wi-Fi standard, tipped to be the European successor of 802.11a, will be adopted only if more countries come on board, analysts have claimed.
"Manufacturers will start producing products only if there's a demand for them. It doesn't make a difference if a single country opens up a radio band. It needs to be adopted on a greater scale," said Richard Dineen, research director at Ovum.
The 802.11h standard, ratified by the IEEE last September, is designed to meet European regulations for 5GHz wireless local area networks by ensuring products have transmission power control (TPC) and dynamic frequency selection (DFS), which minimise interference to broadcasts and military radar.
The 802.11a and h standards have similar throughputs to 54Mbps and a range of 300ft, and run on the 5GHz band. But 802.11h uses TPC and stops the PC card from emitting more radio signal than needed to reach a wireless access point, reducing the burden on laptop batteries.
Evelien Wiggers, senior research analyst at IDC, said: "[802.11h] could become the successor to 11a. They're basically the same, but 11h meets European regulations regarding DFS and TPC."
But Paul Munnery, managing director of networking VAR Wireless CNP, warned: "Certain countries are still dragging their heels, and this is an obstacle to getting 5GHz and 802.11h adopted.
"Broadcasters and the military have shown resistance. But until 5GHz is endorsed by governments many manufacturers won't bother making the products."
Chip manufacturer Intel said it is working on incorporating 802.11h capabilities into forthcoming products using the 5GHz spectrum, but that it was premature to comment on specific products because government agencies were finalising tests.
Intel representative Nick Knupffer said: "As a result of the World Radio Conference resolution this summer, 802.11h is important for harmonisation of the 5GHz spectrum."
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