Fledgling WLAN Spec Picks Up Early Support - Page 2

: Clear Need for 802.11g">

WLAN vendors said they see a clear need for 802.11g.

"We believe that the upcoming products that [include 802.11g] are going to be important," said Bruce Claflin, CEO of 3Com, in Santa Clara, Calif., which sells access points and WLAN PC Cards. "But for the home office and [small- and midsize-business] market, were really going to drive [802.11g]."

In addition to its compatibility with 802.11b, 802.11g has a better range than 802.11a, making it a better option for the home office user who wants to buy only one access point. It also travels better through walls than 802.11as 5GHz band—not to mention commodities brokers.

"5GHz doesnt go through people as well ... and we have a lot of people crammed into a room," said Jeff Komarek, IT manager at the Chicago Board of Trade, who has been testing WLAN products.

Perhaps 802.11gs biggest drawback is its unofficial status. The IEEE had expected to ratify the specification by January 2003, but that has slipped to March at the earliest.

Insiders say component makers, such as TI, are delaying the process in an effort to push proprietary products, a claim TI officials deny. Some companies are developing interim solutions.

Atheros, the first company to sell 802.11a chip sets, reported that by September, several licensees will be selling multimode access points and PC Cards that include its "pre-standard 802.11g" technology.

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