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Wireless Networks Everywhere

Techstination feature for Monday, December 30, 2002

Wireless networks everywhere. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. They're called hot spots. Areas in hotels, airports, coffee shops and anywhere else where wireless high speed Internet access is available. Intel has been busy lately forming partnerships with companies like AT&T and IBM and others... .looking to create a nationwide network of those hot spots. One reason why... Intel will be rolling out a new chip for notebook computers code named Banias during the first half of the new year. And it is designed for wireless connectivity. Don MacDonald is director of marketing for Intel's mobile platforms group...

"The Banias platforms themselves will actually include the CPU, it will include Intel chip sets and it will also include Intel radios. And so we think the time for wireless has come where we would like to encourage pretty much every Banias notebook to include that wireless capability. And in partnership with that we're also investing in many wireless places where you can go connect to. So having wireless on the notebook as well as having places in the public where you can use your wireless capabilities."

But one of the big problems from the consumer's point of view is cost. How many subscriptions for wireless access would you be willing to pay for? T-Mobile has been creating hot spots in Star Bucks shops and elsewhere. Boingo, a company started by the founder of Earthlink has been creating its own networks. And there are others. MacDonald says the answer could be roaming agreements similar to the ones that allow wireless phones to work outside of home service areas. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.