Category Archives: Commentary

WiMAX Could Fry Your Brain. Or Not

Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada has banned the use of WiFi in the campus due to behavioral and physiological risks associated with the technology. According to university president Fred Gilbert, 31 scientists have subscribed the Benevento Resolution, which calls for precautionary strategies to wireless systems and setting up WiFi-free zones in cities, schools, hospitals andContinue Reading

The Politics Of San Francisco Wi-Fi

A report by the San Francisco Examiner suggested a possible vote by the city’s Board of Supervisors to make the citywide WiFi network part of the city’s owned assets. The move, if the board pushes through with it, would run in conflict with Mayor Gavin Newsom’s plan to let a private company, particularly EarthLink, ownContinue Reading

Laptop Makers Push Pre-standard Wireless

Although ratification of 802.11n is not expected until 2008, major PC makers are pushing ahead with plans to integrate high-speed Wi-Fi into their notebooks. Lenovo is following the lead of Dell, Acer and HP, and will provide an 802.11n radio in its 3000 series notebooks. The company, like Dell and Acer, is turning to BroadcomContinue Reading

The Two Faces Of WiMAX

Clearwire and Towerstream are two companies currently offering pre-WiMax services but they cater to different clients: Clearwire serves the consumer market and Towerstream focuses on businesses. Clearwire co-CEO Ben Wolff said subscribers to the company’s fixed wireless service now number 162,000. The operator looks to cover 34 markets by the year’s end and has launchedContinue Reading

Voice On Wi-Fi – The Architecture Question

Aruba rejected criticisms that its version of centrally-managed wireless LAN does not allow for scalable voice over WiFi (VoFi). Aruba vice president Keerti Melkote admitted that the company’s systems, due to central application of encryption, command wireless traffic flows to go through the central controller. But this is not a problem “from bandwidth point ofContinue Reading

Wi-Fi As An Addictive Drug

Blogger David Haskin found himself addicted more to WiFi than coffee, which he gave up five months ago. His confession came as the WiFi Alliance released the findings of a study showing that 80 percent of respondents would rather quit drinking coffee than lose their WiFi connection. Haskin said he brings WiFi travel routers whenContinue Reading

Time To Welcome Draft N?

Current developments make Draft N poised to hit the mainstream market next year, according to Mike Hurlston, Broadcom’s vice president of WLAN products. Hurlston said four laptop makers, i.e., Dell, Acer, Lenovo and HP, have announced plans to ship Draft N products. He also noted the improved cooperation among chipmakers, thus creating better interoperability amongContinue Reading

Intel Touts WiMAX As Fix For India’s Digital Divide

Intel Corp. chairman Craig Barrett sees WiMax as a solution to India’s digital divide. Barrett said WiMax “is relatively inexpensive and relatively simple” and therefore “ideal for rural environment where there is limited infrastructure in place.” He made these remarks following his tour of Baramati, a town that Intel adopted under its World Ahead Program.Continue Reading

Poor Business Case Could Hobble WiMax

Analysts at Sound Partners Ltd believe the success of WiMax will depend on business cases. Drs Mark Heath and Alastair Brydon wrote a report entitled The Business Case For WiMax, wherein they predicted that WiMax will lose to DSL in developed countries, particularly with the increased capability and reach of DSL services. The report alsoContinue Reading

Broadcom Wi-Fi Router Touts Integration

Broadcom has unveiled an 802.11g Wi-Fi chip that will provide full Layer 3 routing. By integrating a 54g radio and a medium access control block with an Ethernet switch and a MIPS processor, the BCM5354 can generate and connect to multiple networks through a sole access point via multi-BSSID (Basic Service Set Identifier) software. Lenovo,Continue Reading

FCC: Boston Airport Can’t Block Airline’s Wi-Fi

The Federal Communications Commission has released its ruling in a case involving Continental Airlines and the Massachusetts Port Authority. In July, the airline filed a petition with the agency after Massport ordered it to take down a Wi-Fi access point at its “President’s Club” frequent-flier lounge in Boston’s Logan International Airport, citing violations of Continental’sContinue Reading

Heathrow Express To Get Wi-Fi

Heathrow Express will begin offering wireless Internet access to passengers by early 2007. This will be made possible by T-Mobile’s plans to deploy hotspots on the train. The new network aims to deliver speeds as high as 8 Mbps or about 20 times faster than a 3G connection. Coverage, according to the company, will continueContinue Reading

Will Wi-Fi Kill Wired Ethernet At The LAN Edge?

Analysts believe it is possible for wireless LAN to replace Ethernet as the preferred mode for accessing enterprise networks in the future. Farpoint Group principal Craig Mathias expects WLAN to “become the default network connection technology over (the) next five to 10 years.” He said the technology continues to improve: WLAN access points have higherContinue Reading

RoamAD Wins Caribbean Wi-Fi Deal

RoamAD has won a contract to build a network that will eventually provide wireless Internet coverage to 1.17 million homes or 59 percent of the urban population in the Dominican Republic. The New Zealand wireless network builder signed an agreement with DR Telecom towards the development of a 2.4GHz network, which will initially blanket aboutContinue Reading

AT&T Says Mobile WiMAX Needs Time To Mature

AT&T shut down in September its mobile WiMax trial in the Netherlands. Martin Silman, the carrier’s executive director of global market portfolio management, said the company had to make the decision because “the security (that the network) required involved buffering, which in turn introduced an unacceptable degree of latency.” Hence, Silman believes the technology willContinue Reading