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world plans to embrace wifi

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    The agreement is expected to reduce confusion for travelling wireless users because frequencies will be standard in different countries. The conference is part of the United Nation's International Telecommunication Union.

    Earlier, the US delegation said in a statement that without agreement "the world's airwaves could quickly become a chaotic jumble of competing and interfering signals".

    WiFi is commonly used today to share high-speed internet connections within homes and offices. It is increasingly being deployed in coffee shops, hotels and airports to provide internet access to customers with laptop computers equipped with radios.

    In developing areas, wireless is seen as ideal way to provide internet access to people lacking telephone or other wired networks.

    More than 20 million people are expected to be using wireless internet access worldwide by 2007, US officials told the conference. Global equipment sales are increasing fast, from $US1.1 billion ($1.6 billion) in 2001 to a predicted $US5.2 billion by 2005.

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