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108Mbps-Do you need it?

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This story appears in the February 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Just when you were getting accustomed to your 802.11b Wi-Fi network, new technology reared its ugly head. Proxim, Intel and others have rolled out 54Mbps 802.11a wireless networks. But there's one difference: Proxim multiplexes its network to achieve speeds of up to 108Mbps.


10%

of B2C online transactions will be conducted on devices other than a PC by 2005, compared with 0.2 percent in 2001.

SOURCE: Gartner Inc.

That's way faster than the standard 11Mbps Wi-Fi, so expect 802.11a networks to replace the slower version. But not before 2005, says Cahners In-Stat Group analyst Gemma Paulo. Vendors aren't in complete agreement on all aspects of the 802.11a standard. Meanwhile, 802.11b products are stable, have established distribution channels and cost half the price of 802.11a alternatives.

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