The new 802.11g standard will get another vote of confidence this week when Gateway Inc. rolls out notebooks ready for the wireless LAN protocol.
The move comes as several vendors prepare new gear enabled for a variety of wireless platforms in conjunction with the first CeBit America show in New York. Gateway will join Broadcom Corp. to offer notebooks that incorporate 802.11g, which was ratified by the IEEE Thursday. 802.11g offers speeds that more than double those of 802.11b. Gateway last week also unveiled two notebooks that support Intel Corp.s Centrino chip set, which supports 802.11b.
"We wanted to offer an option," said Kelly Odle, a spokeswoman for Gateway in Poway, Calif.
Gateway plans to participate in Microsoft Corp.s announcement later this month of its new handheld operating system, Pocket PC 2003, but devices running on the new OS wont be available until the third quarter, Odle said.
Hewlett-Packard Co. will unveil a new line of commercial notebooks at the show, according to officials of the Palo Alto, Calif., company. HP this year is expected to unveil new iPaq devices running Pocket PC 2003, said sources.
At the CeBit Enterprise Wireless Pavilion, Weblink Wireless Inc. will show off an assortment of devices that run on its ReFlex paging network, which is based on technology from Motorola Inc.
Although the wireless industry offers networks and devices that support both voice and data, WebLink officials insist their offering remains important to customers who cant afford a high-end smart phone or who dont trust short message services.
"The ReFlex technology is highly reliable," said Doug Glenn, chief operating officer of WebLink, in Dallas. "The enterprise doesnt necessarily want to pay for voice."
The two-way ReFlex products on display at CeBit will be aimed at the cost-conscious corporate customer, Glenn said.
PerComm Inc.s e80, available in August, supports eight lines of text. It has a joystick, an address book that can be backed up, and 2MB of memory.
HuneTec Co. Ltd. is readying two new ReFlex products. The H200 is a basic e-mail pager that supports 10 lines of text. It includes basic management and scheduling tools and is due in September for around $100, officials said. The HuneTec H500, meanwhile, is a color touch-screen device that runs Version 5.0 of the Palm OS. It includes 8MB of memory and is due in the fourth quarter in the mid-$200 range, officials said.