New study: Lack of Wi-Fi® spectrum jeopardizes Europe’s gigabit connectivity goals

Brussels, Belgium – June 18, 2024 – Europe is at risk of missing its target[1] of delivering 1 Gbps connectivity across all EU households by 2030. With the limited spectrum currently available for Wi-Fi®, only about half of a typical residential building will have gigabit coverage, according to a study by Plum Consulting, commissioned by Wi-Fi Alliance®.

European consumers depend on Wi-Fi for broadband connectivity. With European governments prioritizing significant resources to expand broadband across the continent, the shortage of Wi-Fi spectrum undermines gigabit infrastructure investments and benefits. 

Wi-Fi is the primary technology by which Europeans access broadband, but connectivity is only as good as its narrowest bottleneck. With the rapidly growing number of Wi-Fi devices and exponentially increasing data traffic, congestion is degrading broadband connections – particularly in densely populated areas where such connections are needed most. While other countries, such as the U.S., South Korea, and Canada, have addressed this issue by enabling the latest generation of Wi-Fi in the entire 6 GHz frequency band, European regulators continue to delay this critical decision, depriving Europe of the latest Wi-Fi capabilities and benefits.

“There is no plan B to support Wi-Fi in Europe,” said Alex Roytblat, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs at Wi-Fi Alliance. “As European regulators continue to ponder the future of the 6 GHz band, this study provides clear evidence that without Wi-Fi access to sufficient frequency spectrum, Europe’s connectivity goals are in jeopardy.”

While the study focused on residential scenarios, it is evident that the Wi-Fi spectrum shortfall similarly impacts enterprise deployments, reducing connectivity and the industrial potential of broadband in Europe.

Download the Wi-Fi Spectrum Requirements study or learn more from our 6 GHz Wi-Fi Information Center.


About Wi-Fi Alliance®  |
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 80,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the Internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

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[1] The EU’s Gigabit Infrastructure Act and the Digital Decade Policy Programme 2030 aim to ensure that a fixed Gigabit network (i.e., one providing connectivity at a downlink speed of 1 Gbps) covers all EU households.