Proponents of the warring Bluetooth and 802.11b wireless standards need to put their differences behind them and start working together, an industry expert has advised.
Bluetooth will soon outstrip sales of 802.11b, proving both technologies are a success, according to Nick Hunn, managing director of TDK Systems Europe, a wireless networking specialist that deals with both technologies.
According to Hunn, Bluetooth and 802.11 supporters are making rods for their own backs by badmouthing the competing technologies.
"The time has come to say 'there's workable solutions, let's sell these solutions, rather than trying to steal each other's market share'," Hunn said.
Figures collated by TDK show that Bluetooth's emergence in mobile handsets, and its potential in areas such as in-car communication, are driving its growth.
By the end of the year more than 24 million Bluetooth-enabled handsets will have been sold across the globe, up from last year's figure of 11 million.
This figure is expected to increase significantly over the coming years, propelled by things such as legislation banning the use of handheld mobiles in cars, which is now law in many countries across Europe.
Bluetooth is being embedded in dashboards, to enable drivers to have hands-free communication access.
When Bluetooth was first touted a few years ago, it was pitched as a wireless local area network. But it has failed to make waves in this arena, with 802.11b ruling the roost.
"There are some companies that are pushing Bluetooth as a wireless networking product, but it isn't really [such a product]," explained Jenny Green, research director of Ovum's wireless division.
"There are some similar [to 802.11] applications, which some people have done very clever things with, but they're not a head-to-head [technology]."
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