Solving the Multi-Network Wireless Problem
Getting 802.11b and cellular networks to play nice together is not a trivial problem, discovers eWEEK.com Wireless Center Editor Jim Louderback. Intel's System Technology Lab is working the problem, though, as part of its Universal Communicator project.Last week, I wrote about how VOIP, cellular and WiFi will combine to make traditional phones and POTS obsolete. But based on a discussion I had with a development manager at Intels Systems Technology Lab, there are still some thorny problems that need to be resolved. First some background. Intel has put together an internal group of scientists and researchers to help realize its vision of seamless access to information from any device, using any available network. One project theyve been working on is a "universal communicator," designed to communicate on 802.11 and GSMs data network, along with network 3D gaming, video and audio playback, and other media capabilities.
It turns out that the device itself isnt hard to build. Although Intels grand plans for a single tunable radio, built onto a CPU, is still mostly fantasy, putting multiple radios into a single device isnt hard. Instead, network and radio co-ordination present the biggest challenge. "Its a huge task," explains Intels Bryan Peebler. "Ultimately, you want to get a single reconfigurable radio," he adds, "but thats still years away."