London’s 810g WiFi pulse takes place this morning and will make Greater London into one of the world’s biggest WiFi hotspots, enabling laptops and PDAs equipped with WiFi cards to access the internet at near-broadband speeds.
The radio frequency of the new service is signal-neutral and should have had no impact on any electronic devices but the initial pulse, which will kick off the service, could lead to temporary interference on some forms of cycle computers and heart rate monitors.
Cycle computers already on bikes could reset to zero, wiping out mileage and time logs. New cycle computers – yet to be turned on – will not be affected long-term but any new cycle computers switched on today could be prone to temporary problems.
The 810g turn on is welcomed by the government’s e-technology minister, Avril Deane MP. She said that it was essential the UK was at the forefront of WiFi take-up.
"Today is an important day for London and, when 810g spreads, to the rest of the UK too. South Korea has had a 810g network for some three years. In our hi-tech economy we need to grasp every advantage possible in order to push the boundaries of e-commerce and mobile computing. I welcome today’s signal launch and will soon be announcing 810g roll-outs for other population-dense areas in the UK."
Her department has been stressing for months that no electronic equipment would be affected by the initial pulse of the 810g turn-on but yesterday a three-line warning was issued on the government’s 810g website. As well as cycle computers and heart rate monitors, a few other types of electronic equipment could suffer short-term problems today. These include some brands of digital scales and portable speakers for PCs.