New Wireless Standards Explained
Comprehensive overview of the new wireless networking standards appearing this summer and fall, including 802.11a, 802.11g, HomeRF, and Bluetooth: in this article for O'Reilly Network, I attempt to explain the differences and upcoming problems with deployment of a variety of new wireless specs.
Would You Believe 0.5G?
The Economist magazine weighs on whether we really need third-generation cellular: in yet another scathing analysis of the money wasted on third-generation cellular licenses in Europe, the Economist wonders if we need high data rates for devices on the go when so-called 2.5G retrofits to existing cell networks could add data, and 802.11b pervades the land.
The U.S. is in a fortunate position, in that the FCC hasn't yet been able to clear the frequencies necessary for 3G licensing, either in harmony with the European and Asian choice, or an entirely new set. I call this luck, because it means that American firms haven't spent billions on licenses for technology they can't yet deploy and is unclear of success. The Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, the cell trade group, disagrees - they don't want to see American firms frozen out of the handset and services market.
When 802.11a and 802.11g (54 Mbps and 22 Mbps, respectively) start deploying in public spaces and enterprise/corporate environments later this year and early next year, the last nail may be put in the coffin of short-term 3G deployment. As I've said before: why accept slow, expensive, and metered everywhere when you can get fast, cheap, and unlimited almost everywhere?