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Bumping Up Wireless Networking Speed

Techstination feature for Tuesday, December 3, 2002

Bumping up the speed on wireless networks. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. What is called 802.11b technology has been spreading fast... allowing computers and handhelds to connect wirelessly to computer networks and the Internet. The connection speed, however, is not really fast enough for the next generation of wireless applications like streaming high quality video. That's where a new standard comes in... 802.11g. Among the wireless chipmakers creating the technology is Intersil, where marketing VP Chris Henningsen says... instead of 11 megabits per second...

"It's 54 megabits, backwards compatible to the 35 million units of .11b that have already shipped, but that's a really tremendous advantage in performance. It allows you within your home to send three channels of CD quality audio and up to three channels of DVD content around your house."

Linksys, which has become a leader in the consumer networking market... is releasing its first 802.11g products this month. CEO Victor Tsao says pricing is only slightly higher than prices for 802.11b...

"I think we announced a PC card right around 80 dollars and routers right around 150. So it's not that big a difference from today's popular 11b line of product."

And again the big advantage the new G standard has... .over another faster standard called 802.11a... is that it is backward compatible with existing 802.11b equipment. For consumers... the whole alphabet soup mix is more than a little confusing. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.