Newly approved ultra wide band (UWB) wireless technology will not have an impact on demand for the long awaited Bluetooth wireless services, according to analysts.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week approved trials of the technology which can deliver wireless connections as fast as 100Mbps. Tests and pilot products are expected later this year.
"Since the FCC decision there have been reports of UWB as the killer of Bluetooth and that's clearly erroneous. UWB does not even target the same market," said Joyce Putscher, director of converging markets and technologies at analyst Cahners In-Stat.
High transmission speeds are not required for the bulk of planned Bluetooth connections, she added. "For many applications, especially those that Bluetooth targets, even 10Mbps is an overkill," said Putscher.
Bluetooth is designed to create small personal area networks, while UWB technologies are expected to enable larger local area networks that are more likely to compete with the emerging 802.11 wireless standard than with Bluetooth.
Putscher explained that some companies are looking at using UWB between a TV and a camcorder for downloading video, but that high-speed video was never a target for Bluetooth.
UWB also lags behind Bluetooth both in technology and market development. It currently lacks an industry standard, although companies such as JVC, Sony, Panasonic, Intel, Motorola and Sharp are working on devising one, but this could take until 2004.
Confusion over the relative potential for wireless technologies is not unusual, according to Putscher.
"We have been educating the market for years that Bluetooth and 802.11 technologies are complementary not competing technologies. Now we may have to do the same with UWB," she said.
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