Intel has drawn a line in the sand with the release of its Intel Pro 500 Wireless Access Point for 802.11b and 802.11a. This is the first product Ive seen that unites 802.11b 2.4GHz technology with 802.11as much higher bandwidth (theoretically, 54M bps vs. 11M bps for 802.11b) in the same device. Available now, the Pro 500 sells for $649.
The tone of a briefing with Intel earlier this month signaled the Pro 500 as Intels bet that 802.11a will trump 802.11g as the way that enterprise IT enables high-bandwidth wireless connectivity.
Indeed, 802.11a has overcome regulatory hurdles in several countries, but only on the condition that the Intel device backs off when it senses another user of the frequency— which could herald problems.
Also unknown is the extent to which 802.11g, which uses the same 2.4GHz frequency as the pervasive 802.11b, will win out.
Intel is hoping that, by making the Pro 500 and dual-band network cards today, the answer will be based on availability.