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Issue #2003 - 02 (January 2003)
(Updated Jan. 16, 2003)


WiFi Miscellaneous News

1. 108 MBPS WiFi
Several industry mavens suggest that the IEEE may allow the building of 108 Mbps extensions into the 802.11a standard. Atheros Communications and Proxim already offer the 108 Mbps speed by combining two of 802.11a's 54 Mbps channels. Would these improvisations be codified in a formal standard? 

2. Mesh Networking
The ad-hoc -- or peer-to-peer, also known as "meshing" -- mode has gained attention because of its promise to increase the range of WLANs. It does so by using network nodes as relay points, thus obviating the need for each node to be connected directly to the access point. The question is whether meshing should take place at Layer 2 MAC, Layer 3, or the laptop operating system itself. 
Inquiring minds want to know.

3. New, bullish report on WLAN future: 
A new report just published offers the following insights:

Shipments of WLAN products increased over 100 percent in 2002, and will continue growing as the main force in the wireless market for the next several years. Average equipment prices overall dropped by almost 28 percent, but revenues increased over 50 percent in 2002 to $2.6 billion worldwide. The study forecasts that the WLAN equipment market will continue growing at a 43 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) to $10.3 billion in 2006.

The WLAN chip market grew over 43 percent in 2002 to $364 million level, in spite of a 31 percent decline in overall average selling prices. Overall WLAN chip revenues will continue to grow at a 49 percent CAGR, in spite of continual average selling price declines. The report also predicts that some companies will exit the market as margins become increasingly slimmer because of growing competition.

The study concludes that the 5 GHz 802.11a market will have a very short life, giving way to combo 802.11ab and 802.11ag devices. The 2.4 GHz 802.11b market will continue to be the major market as its lower power consumption is favored for portable devices, like the new breed of Tablet PCs, which finally has a viable market thanks to WLAN technology. The report points to other market possibilities, including cable phones in the home that will finally make competitive sense because of WLAN. It also forecasts the embedded WLAN markets including those Tablet PCs and cable phones, along with notebook computers, PDAs, cell phones, digital cameras, and VoIP phones for the
enterprise market. 
The 225-page report, entitled "WLAN: Wireless Data's Silver Bullet," was prepared by Forward Concepts of Tempe, Arizona. It is priced at $3,650.

4. Trend: 802.11a losing out to dual-band
While WLAN shipments in general have seen a 100 percent jump in 2002, fewer than 100,000 802.11a-specific chipsets shipped last year. The slumping sales are causing some consternation to two leading 802.11a chip suppliers, Atheros and Resonext. Most analyst expect dual-band 802.11a/b and 802.11.b/g chipsets to eventually replace all 802.11a single-band chips. For more on the death of 802.11a chips:- see this story from http://www.80211Planet.com

5. Wi-Fi Alliance Announces Hot Spot Seal of Approval
In an effort to create a globally recognized brand for public access services, set a minimum quality standard, and help users find Wi-Fi enabled locations, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that it is introducing the Wi-Fi ZONE seal of approval program. The seal can be displayed at qualifying Wi-Fi hot spots where wireless Web access is provided to the public for a fee. "Our goal is to provide a reliable indicator that will allow customers to identify service providers who are committed to a common standard of quality. We also expect the Wi-Fi ZONE brand to be used in conjunction with the local provider's brand," said Dennis Eaton, chairman of the Wi-Fi Alliance. For more information, visit http://www.wi-fizone.org. 

Source: 80211report.Com and 802.11Planet 

For more information: http://www.80211report.com  http://www.80211planet.com

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: WiFi continues to occupy attention of the industry. Watch the trend in favour of dual-band WLANs.

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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