News

Interest Continues in MASS WiFi Congestion Report

October 2009

The wave of interest following a MASS report on WiFi interference and congestion earlier this year (see May 2009 news item) still continues. Last week on 5th October, the Radio 4 programme “Click On” ran an interview with the report’s author, Adrian Wagstaff – a principal consultant at MASS who has conducted a series of studies into radio interference on behalf of Ofcom. The full interview can be heard on BBC iPlayer at www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00n0qr6.

The original report was completed as a project for Ofcom in March 2009 and presented at the Ofcom annual symposium. It set out to measure the extent of interference to WiFi networks and then made some interesting observations about congestion. The work surveyed 13 urban/suburban areas and found that interference becomes significant in the areas where the population density is higher. This has become so bad in London that WiFi is no longer usable for many people. An article in May 2009 by Bill Thompson for the BBC, picked up on several aspects of the MASS report, including the serious impact that various radio devices, such as baby monitors which operate in the unlicensed radio band, are having on WiFi connectivity. This has provoked a lively debate which shows little sign of abating.

The original report can be viewed, along with other MASS papers on related subjects, via the links on our Spectrum monitoring page.