Business Week interviews Intel Wi-Fi guy: The article has its ups and downs. For instance, it intros with the interviewer mentioning that Wi-Fi is a $1.67 billion business in 2003, but then says we have Intel to thank for it. Odd because the vast majority of that money this year (not next) will have little to do with Intel.
In the interview proper, Jim Johnson says Our Centrino products, enabling mobility, will speed up Wi-Fi adoption. And with millions of Centrino notebooks out, carriers will be motivated to resolve these issues... This is absolutely true: many changes have already been made due to Centrino verification by Intel.
But then Johnson talks about 802.16a: [it] will have a 31-mile linear service range -- a huge improvement over Wi-Fi's 300-foot radius. It will also offer much higher speeds, of up to 70 megabits per second, vs. 11 for Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi has been run over 20 to 40 miles, depending on speed. And non-Wi-Fi FH and DS have run the same distances. So that's not a real parameter even though Wi-Fi isn't designed for those long distances and 802.16a can certainly improve on that.
The 70 Mbps versus 11 Mbps is an Intel-ism: because Intel doesn't offer 54 Mbps a or g flavors, Wi-Fi is 11 Mbps -- even though Wi-Fi, the trademark, includes 54 Mbps 802.11a as one of its two current certified standards. Intel is a Wi-Fi Alliance board member.
(Interestingly, Johnson's predecessor is now in charge of Intel Capital's wireless investments.)