Back in April 2006 I reported that the number of Wifi Access points I detected in my apartment in Paris has increased from two to six. Now about a year later the number has once more increased and is now at thirteen (see picture on left)! And that’s only in the 2.4 GHz ISM band! It’s great to see technology prospering but it starts to worry me a bit.
If only a fraction of the access points send more than their beacon frames then the networks on the same frequencies will start to trample over each other which impacts performance and reliability. For the moment things are still o.k. but some DSL operators such as Free now offer an HDTV TV box as part of their standard subscription which talks to the DSL modem via Wifi. So in the evening when lots of people watch TV some Wifi channels will become be quite busy.
Looks like I have to bring my Linksys OpenWRT 54 to Paris to trace which of these networks are really generating traffic.