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Issue #2003 - 25 (September 2003)
(Updated Sept. 12, 2003)


WiFi News This Week

1. Broadcom unveils one-chip Wi-Fi solution
Broadcom has unveiled its AirForce OneChip, a single-chip component which provides 802.11b WLAN connectivity. The chip will be first installed in PDAs. Broadcom integrated an 802.11b baseband processor, a power amplifier, a Media Access Controller, and all other radio components, including the 2.4-GHz radio itself, into a single chip. This brings the size of a complete chip module down to 0.58 inches by 1.04 inches, about one-seventh the size of Broadcom's current Wi-Fi module for PCI cards. Integrating the whole Wi-Fi system into a single chip means less drain on a PDA's battery, as well as a lower cost and smaller size. The OneChip consumes an average of 85 percent less power than other Wi-Fi systems on the market. Assisted by its SuperStandby software, OneChip consumes 97 percent less power in standby mode than the Centrino chipset for notebooks does. It is not clear how helpful to Broadcom the new chip will be in the company's effort to make a dent in the dominance of Intel's 109606 Centrino in the notebook sector. More promising for future applications of OneChip are digital cameras, MP3 music players, and Wi-Fi VoIP phones.

2. Wi-Fi usage by mobile professionals higher at home than on the job
Mobile users use network capabilities more in their personal lives than in their professional capacities, according to a recent survey by IDC. Thirty-four percent of respondents use a Wi-Fi WLAN at home, while only 27 percent use them on the job. These findings agree with results of other surveys which consistently show that personal Wi-Fi use by highly mobile individuals outpaces the adoption of WLANs in the enterprise. Other findings: Public hotspot interest remains high, but users' price expectations and payment preference is mixed; the top hotspot locations among mobile users are in key travel locations and coffee shops; laptops remain the device platform of choice; mobile office applications such as email, PIM, Internet, and Intranet access remain strong among business users, while entertainment and messaging applications are strong among home users.

3. T-Mobile to offer hotspots in gas stations
T-Mobile is rolling out a WLAN service in selected Texaco service stations in the U.K. The company is incorporating technology from hotspot company Mapesbury in an effort to target the estimated 5 million mobile workers who drive on British roads. T-Mobile is already offering hotspot service in 56 Starbucks coffee shops in 21 towns and cities across the U.K. Customers will access the service by driving into any Texaco forecourt where the T-Mobile HotSpot service is available, parking in a dedicated bay and logging onto the Internet. The company will offer the service in several hundred Texaco service stations. T-Mobile said it would look to develop a variety of convenient locations for business people "to access email or time-critical information while on the move."

4. Sprint and Truckstop.Net
See our newsflash in this newsletter.

Source 802.11 Report Newsletter

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Interestingly, this week's news items emphasize all tiers of the market - fundamental chip level, consumer/professionals at the grass roots and hotspots  - gas stations and truck stops. The only important segment missing for Wi-Fi market is the corporate WLAN segment. That segment needs no fresh press releases. 

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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