January 19, 2004
By Galen Gruman, editorial director, IT Wireless
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Note to readers: With this issue you'll see a change in how IT Wireless keeps you up to date. You'll now receive two distinct editions. One, IT Wireless Insider, focuses on case studies and other in-depth coverage. The other, IT Wireless Market Scan, focuses on new technology, product, and market news. These editions will alternate, but you'll continue to receive an IT Wireless edition every two weeks.
IN THIS ISSUE:

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PRODUCT SCAN:
The Latest in Wireless Products and Tech

The long-needed integration of competing hot-spot networks has really picked up steam in recent weeks:

Intel has finally joined the 802.11g bandwagon, nearly a year after the 54Mbps-maximum-throughput wireless LAN technology became popular in consumer-grade hardware. Intel's Mobile Pentium processor, known as Centrino, now supports both 802.11g and b. Notebooks using the new Centrino should begin appearing in the second quarter. The new Centrino was supposed to be available in the first quarter, but Intel discovered some flaws in the chip that delayed production by several months.

Aligo is offering a hosted, subscription-based service to track field employees. Its WorkTrack service costs $15 per month and has employees use a GPS-enabled cell phone for attendance and job reporting.

Trapeze Networks has updated its Mobility System product line. The Mobility Points can now connect to either existing Ethernet switches or to the Trapeze Mobility Exchange wireless LAN switch, as well as support the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in hardware and the 802.11g 54Mbps standard. The company has also extended the Mobility System's support for voice services by integrating SpectraLink Voice Priority for SpectraLink voice-over-wireless IP (VoWIP) telephones. It also adds continuous rogue detection and other security enhancements.

Cranite Systems has released its WirelessWall Client for Mac OS X, which brings FIPS 140-2 encryption to Macintosh users. Speaking of the Mac, O'Reilly Publishing has released Mac OS X Unwired, a book that explains how to set up the Mac's built-in wireless capabilities.

OTC Wireless has released its WiJet Video hardware, which creates a high-speed wireless link using the 802.11g standard so users can now wirelessly transmit full-motion video, animated rich media, and very large presentations from their laptop, desktop PC, or mobile computing device.

Among product-related odds and ends:

On the technology front, Rutgers University has won a $5.5 million, four-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to construct and operate a facility for researchers around the nation to test the next generation of wireless and mobile networks. This wireless networking test bed will include both a large-scale radio grid emulator laboratory and a field trial system in and around the Rutgers campus and nearby central New Jersey communities. Within the next year or so, local residents that have the appropriate equipment will be able to sample conventional and advanced wireless Internet access for free at wireless Internet "hot spots" around the Rutgers-New Brunswick campus.

Got a great product or technology tip? Send it to news@it-wireless.com.

From our editors
 

THE ESSENTIAL WIRELESS PRODUCT AND SERVICE GUIDE!
A subscriber exclusive! IT Wireless's Essential Products Guide is now available to subscribers. The 19-page PDF file contains a listing of key vendors and service providers, with summaries of their offerings and contact information. Categories include wireless network and client hardware, network and client software, and IT services. Download the directory now!


MARKET SCAN:
The Latest in the Wireless Marketplace

Sage Research's new study, "WLAN Adoption Trends 2004," finds that 80% of the current wireless LAN users surveyed expect to expand their deployment of wireless LANs in the first six months of this year. The biggest reason for these expansion plans is employee productivity improvements. This increased usage also indicates that companies plan to expand wireless LAN access beyond the typical early adopters, such as IT departments and "road warrior" workers (such as field divisions and sales personnel). Usage is now becoming more widespread in industries such as health care, retail, and manufacturing.

Based on its survey, Sage estimates that the average 2004 wireless LAN access point spending plans for those industries are still solid proof that companies are making serious commitments to wireless LANs:

Security is the most common drawback mentioned by those surveyed. Despite these concerns, companies still plan to expand wireless LAN use, with most of them also planning to purchase improved security management controls.

Among the study's other findings:

Meanwhile, research firm ABI predicts that the market for Global Positioning System (GPS) products will grow at about 35% per year, reaching $22 billion by 2008. Half of the GPS market today consists of sales of automotive and asset-tracking equipment, segments that will continue to grow faster than other GPS submarkets, ABI says.

The WiMax Forum has more than doubled its membership, adding 39 new members over five months. Among the newest members are its first service providers, AT&T, Covad, and Hong Kong-based PCCW, as well as Siemens and ZTE. WiMax is the trade name for the IEEE 802.16 standard for high-speed wireless networks that can span multiple city blocks. Products are expected in 2005-06.

There's more evidence that wireless carriers are finally serious about offering cellular data services: Mobile services will be worth $126 billion worldwide by 2008, and will account for almost 20% of total mobile operator revenues, according to a new strategic report "Mobile Content and Applications 2003," published by the ARC Group. This represents a solid growth trend for the mobile services market over the next five years, with revenues more than doubling from their 2003 level.

Finally, in our October 13, 2003, edition, we reported on Dutch studies that suggested the use of cell phones might make users nauseous, even as it sharpened their alertness levels. Now, a new British study says there appear to be no health effects from the use of cellular phones, though the researchers stress the results are based on early results and relatively short-term data. "In aggregate, the research published ... does not give cause for concern," says Britain's National Radiological Protection Board.


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