Technology Positioning Statement Report

6.1.6 Wireless Network Hardware

Description: Wireless network hardware and services.

Category: 6 - Networks   Subcategory: 1 - Enterprise Networks




Industry UsageSC Usage
IEEE 802.11
IEEE 802.11

Performance Metrics

Coverage (national or regional); audio quality; data quality; bandwidth; security.

Usage and Dependencies

Industry Usage:

The following list summarizes some of the major trends in 2001 in telecommunications networking and services:

* Converging networks: Convergence of voice and data networking over single-operator networks will continue, leading to wider availability of these services in a handful of markets. The fundamental shift to all-IP over multiple networks will take several years to complete [.8p]. In 2001, nearly a quarter of Global 2000 multinationals will buy converged international network services [.7p]. Data-oriented networking service providers will have a competitive advantage over carriers that also operate extensive legacy circuit-switched networks.

* Wireless local area networks (LANs): IEEE 802.11a high-speed wireless LAN chips (54Mbps) will ship, with commercial products appearing by 2002 [.7p]. Additionally, the IEEE 802.15 committee will produce a specification that will ease some of the interference issues between 802.11b wireless LAN networks and Bluetooth (but it will take at least another year to work out all the problems).

* Campus wireless LANs 5GHz products operating at 54Mbps will begin shipping in small numbers: HiperLAN2 products will also begin to ship. IEEE 802.11b wireless LANs at 11Mbps will drop in price to $150/node, with some home offerings dropping down to $100/node. Wireless PBX applications will be an application driver for adoption.

* IPv6 transition: By late 2001 or early 2002, we will begin to see some IPv6 services available that include protocol conversion between IPv4 and IPv6.

* Broadband access: The inability of enterprise users to access broadband networks in many countries is a bottleneck that will delay implementation of advanced corporate applications across global organizations. Alternative lower-cost technologies, such as xDSL, cable modems and wireless local loop access, will gradually become more widely available in the largest competitive North American, Western European and some Asia-Pacific and Latin American markets during the year [.8p]. However, ISDN (128kbps), higher-speed access will continue to dominate in most markets outside North America for small-office/home-office remote access.

* Wireless access: Wireless services will become a core product in tier-one carriers' business services bundles, with some notable exceptions (possibly WorldCom). This includes fixed wireless access in large metropolitan cities, mobile voice and, toward the end of the year, higher-speed (64kbps mobile and 144kbps stationary) mobile data and Internet access [.8p]. In 2001, a growing number of enterprise cellular/PCS wireless providers will reduce significantly or eliminate intra-regional (i.e., North America, Western Europe) roaming charges and offer national or regional flat rates calling plans that include long distance [.8p]. .

Key Trends for 2001: Telecommunications, Brownlee Thomas, December 8, 2000, Giga;
Key Trends for 2001: Networking and Communications, Stan Schatt, Giga.

SC Usage: Wireless messaging using the RIM Blackberry is widely used.

SC Application Impacts: Some applications may require mobile capabilities.

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