Wi-Fi Destined to be Powered to the MAX

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Wi-Fi Destined to be Powered to the MAX

By Barry J. Doyle

Wi-Fi is considered to be the coolest thing since color screens for many PDA users, however it can also be considered just a longer chain than the ol ethernet cable.  Consumers are gunning for PDA s with integrated Wi-Fi, but many who are previously uninformed find themselves confused and disappointed to be limited to a hot spot at Starbucks or struggling to check email on their PDA while staying at a hotel with no Wi-Fi access.  To add  to the new users bewilderment, there is the inevitable cost for the T-Mobile or Verizon wireless plans to connect to these hotspots, which comes as a surprise to many first-time users.

 So what if instead, Wi-Fi users could connect virtually anywhere, using the same primary account for access at home or on the go, and could maintain a guaranteed connection on a PDA within a 30 mile radius of the designated hot spot ?

 Well this scenario may not be all too far away in the distant future.  A new Wi-Fi technology dubbed WiMax is under development by Intel Corp. and is positioned to offer a way for broadband service providers to allow a 30 mile range signal (from a single access point) to users.  As if that isn t exciting enough, the new WiMax or 802.16 technology is expected to transfer data at at a whopping 70Mbit/sec rate.  That rate would be over 600% faster than the current speed of 802.11 technology which transfers data at about an 11Mbit/sec rate and only allows a maximum 1000 foot range from an access point. 

WiMax will no doubt need to be compliant with local laws and FCC regulations, however once these challenges are overcome, a wireless world of opportunity will be beckoning to mobile users.


Barry J. Doyle



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