A group of communications vendors demonstrated a local area network (Lan) that does not require the use of cables or wires at this week's Networld Interop show in Atlanta.
The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) was formed last month by such members as Nokia, Lucent, 3Com and Symbol, to promote wireless Lans based on the IEEE IEEE 802.11 High Rate standard.
Compability testing of members' products will begin soon by independent testing firm, Silicon Valley Networking Lab, and certified products will be able to use WECA's Wi-Fi logo.
The technology was first outlined by Nokia during Networld Interop Vegas earlier this year (see VNU Newswire, 12 May, 1999) and enables users to access corporate Lans, using wall mounted access points that can support up to 30 individual users. Special drivers are required within laptops to read WECA PC cards.
John Ferrari, Nokia’s director of solutions marketing, claimed the technology, "is like experiencing access speeds that is 400 times faster than a 56K modem."
Products built to the IEEE 802.11 High Rate standard will use the 2.4GHz radio band to enable data to be zapped across Lans at 11Mbps, slightly faster than the 10Mbps for wired Lans. According to WECA chiefs, the 5GHz radio standard will be used in the future to achieve data transfer speeds of 54Mbps.
The radius of the access points are between 350 feet and 500 feet in buildings with lots of walls and up to 1,500 feet in areas with no walls. The technology also enables products to roam access points at every 1,000 feet in a similar fashion to mobile phones.
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