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News
Issue #2003 - 12 (April 2003)
(Updated Apr. 9, 2003)

INFRASTRUCTURE, PRODUCTS & SERVICES

WiFi News This Week

1. Home Networking for Entertainment Ready 
According to In-Stat/MDR, the next five years will see a tripling of the market for home networking products. The research firm reports that overall revenue for the home networking segment is projected to reach $5.3 billion by 2007 -- up from $1.8 billion last year. By the end of 2007 the total number of installed home networks in the United States and Canada is expected to exceed 28 million, more than three times the 9.2 million installed home networks in 2002.

2003 will also see the emergence of products linking home entertainment centers with home networks, making networked entertainment the key driver of home networking sales. The research group said companies such as Sony and Linksys (acquired recently by Cisco Systems) are expected to unveil bridging devices that link television sets and stereos to PCs through Ethernet or 802.11 wireless connections. Consumer electronics vendors will also ship media servers that store and play rich content over a home network. In-Stat/MDR projected that, by the end of 2007, media networking will account for 49 percent of all home networking revenue -- a staggering increase over the 6 percent media networking accounted for in 2002. 

2. Nortel Enters the 802.11 Switch Market
See detailed news item.

3. Linksys, Ricochet to provide office networking
Linksys is now offering Linksys Ricochet Router, allowing subscribers of the proprietary Ricochet WWAN to share the connection with multiple PCs. The Router is the industry's first home and office network router which supports WWAN to LAN connectivity. Last year Ricochet came back from bankruptcy after being bought by Aerie Networks. Ricochet's networks are now deployed in San Diego and Denver, and will soon be available in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. 

4. IEEE, Wi-Fi Alliance to speed up 802.11g ratification, interoperability testing
Wi-Fi Alliance announced yesterday that it was aiming to complete interoperability tests of 802.11g-based products by the end of July. The tests can be completed only after the IEEE approved the 802.11g standard specifications.

IEEE said it expected to finalize the 802.11g standard in June. If the two organizations adhered to this schedule, 802.11g devices carrying the interoperability certification label could be in stores by August, 2003. The Alliance's main task is to ensure that 802.11g devices from different manufacturers can communicate with each other, and that networks of mixed 802.11b/g membership still perform at the speedier transfer rates 802.11g promises.

Several companies have decided not to wait for the IEEE's or the Wi-Fi Alliance's decisions. Atheros Communications and Intersil have each developed 802.11g chip sets; manufacturers such as Cisco Systems and Proxim announced plans to sell WLAN access points and cards incorporating 802.11g; several hardware vendors such as Apple, NetGear, and D-Link are already selling 802.11g products. 

5. HP May Launching its Own Wi-Fi Devices
Hewlett-Packard currently resells Proxim Orinoco wireless access points, but market watchers believe that it may soon develop and build its own. John McHugh, vice president and general manager of HP's networking division, obliquely said that HP was "looking at architecture designs and potential directions… We could make a formal announcement in summer." 

Source - Several, including Fierce80211 Report, TechWeb and 802.11 planet 

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory:  There are three noteworthy items here - home networking for notebooks and PCs in the house as well as for entertainment devices, Nortel entering the switch market and HP doing its own devices. All these signs point towards Wi-Fi going beyond its original ambitions. As far as the WiFi router for home is concerned, may we remind product planners to think of OSGI (Open systems Gateway Interface) as a more relevant box that controls alarms, lights and appliances? Do we need two boxes in one home? House is more than PCs and entertainment. First comes food, then comes security and after that entertainment. We bet, OSGI folks are going to put WiFi support in their gateways first. Anybody listening?

 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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