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Home Page Editorial
(August
22,  2001)

From Publisher and Managing Editor's Desk... 

Wireless LAN/WAN Integration - View from the Wireless Infrastructure Suppliers and Impact of Security Flaws in Wireless LANs. 

We continue to get feedback on Wireless LAN-WAN integration topic. We are bringing your attention to an observation and a related issue. Our observation is that major network infrastructure vendors like Ericsson (and others like Motorola, Nokia and others) are in fact watching this trend seriously. They are in "watch, experiment and learn" mode. This means that they seem to agree with our general assessment. However, they are not sure, at this stage, that this trend is a long term one. They also have to face internal debate and technology compatibility issues. The product developers will cite hundred different technology challenges they face because they had embarked on a different path and want to reach the original destination. This is a healthy debate internally and externally. You, the professionals, control the destiny of ultimate outcome.

The related issue that we want to raise is with respect to security flaws in wireless LANs. There has been a lot of trade coverage of this topic because it is so juicy. We consider these flaws serious roadblocks in ongoing acceptance of wireless LANs because of both perception and reality. We are also confident that problem does have a solution and that IEEE with the help of the wireless security vendors will solve it soon. We also state that the same group of cryptographers can break the encryption on radio wide area air links also, if they tried. Nonetheless, our pragmatic position is that for secure information, you should rely on end-to-end security from the application server to the client software in the handheld device. The infrastructure and network can help you only so much. Your internal discipline and security practices are far more important than the security protection that infrastructure provides. Since when were your public highways completely secure? Good news is that infrastructure vendors are focusing on LAN security flaws also.

  1. Ericsson demonstrated in June 2001 at 3G CDMA World Congress, a seamless, high-speed packet data services with CDMA2000 and Wireless LAN (WLAN) solutions. Employing mobile IP capabilities for wireless networks, Ericsson's CDMA2000 1xEV solution illustrated how CDMA operators can efficiently and cost effectively deliver 3G mobile Internet services in concert with wireless LAN services in hot spots.

Chander Dhawan - Your Site's Principal Consultant and Publisher



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