3Com bridge links up to 4 Ethernet devices to any Wi-Fi network: this is all theoretical until we find out limitations (will it work with all chipsets, all firmware, all Wi-Fi certified devices?), but it's a great idea. The $350 device ships in January, and doesn't have an integral hub. It sounds as if it supports four MAC addresses of any kind, not just PCs running special software for instance. In other words, a real hub. The other side of this equation should be interesting. Wi-Fi clients use a single MAC address when associating with an access point; will the 3Com use a kind of NAT-for-MAC?
Dual-band radio announced by British firm: shipping samples by 2nd quarter of 2002. This is one of the first (or the first?) of many such announcements that will come on dual-band 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g) and 5 GHz (802.11a) radios for PC cards and access points.
Are you a public space and want Wi-Fi? A reader queried me about starting a page that would help match sites like coffee shops or hotels that want Wi-Fi public access for their customers with companies that want to provide said service. If there's interest on either side of that equation, email me, and I'll start putting it together, and link it from the menu at left.
Brits stuck on the fee part of for-fee wireless: although cell carriers are free to charge for use of licensed sprectrum, the UK regulatory authorities won't decide until at earliest Feb. 2002 how to allow commercial entities to offer for-fee Wi-Fi and Bluetooth service. They worry about being behind the Swedes. Hey! Look over the Big Pond, blokes!
1,000 Wireless ISPs: Robert Hoskins, the broadband wireless editor of Broadband Wireless Exchange contends that over 1,000 ISPs in the U.S. offer some form of wireless service for their customers. After reviewing his extensive listing of services with links to the ISPs, I am hard pressed to disagree - and I'm surprised. I know of a dozen or so firms personally, including an ISP in Maine that I wrote about for O'Reilly Networks, but I didn't realize the phenomenon was so widespread. Most of these firms are independent and even mom-and-pop size, which means but one thing: wireless ISPs are profitable.