Wireless Needs Better Usability, Leadership to Fly - Page 2

Negatives have to do with line noise, the lack of existing infrastructure that would have to be built and the physical tether that would always require a close working proximity to the enabled power line.

Given the changes, panelists said this could play out with WiMAX and power networking being used to connect the Wi-Fi access points to the network and by creating a lower-cost way to roll out lots of them.

The fixed nature of WiMAX would cubbyhole it to stationary devices such as desktop PCs and kiosks, and both could co-reside very well.

The problem for me is still infrastructure. While I can see this happening, other wireless technologies are rolling out that could solve this last-mile problem, and both DSL and digital cable are vastly further along now.

So, I do see the potential; Im just not yet convinced that this outcome will be the one that would result. But I was in the minority on this, and that is something that should be remembered.

/zimages/2/28571.gifIntel will ship its Grantsdale chipset this summer with the wireless features turned off by default. Click here to read more.

A distributed control system called AutoCell came up from the audience at NetWorld+Interop, but it hit a nerve with the panel because wed all had this problem. The panel was supposed to be talking about the best wireless products at the show, and this was one of the few that came up.

Propagate Networks Inc. makes a technology, AutoCell, that is bundled with wireless access points. NETGEAR Inc.s APs are the only ones currently shipping with the technology, which automatically balances multiple access points in the home or business so that one does not step on another, which can often be the case.

We agreed that were this technology understood, it would be a differentiator among access-point providers. The fact that this was brought up by the audience rather than the panel members was particularly interesting.

AirMagnet Inc. was another company that came up as having a best-in-class product at NetWorld+Interop. Its offerings dynamically map the access points in a company; graphically showing where performance is good and where it isnt.

The company can highlight unapproved access points and locate them, and it offers one of the strongest tools Ive ever seen for securing and optimizing a wireless network.

This ability to locate, manage and secure a wireless network easily is undoubtedly a critical part of the responsibility of any network administrator, and AirMagnet clearly rose to a high level of interest at the show as a result.

Next Page: Usability doesnt matter to VCs.