Emerging Wireless Technologies

USA Today covers four of them – WiMax, 802.16e, 802.11n and UWB.

WiMax: Unlike current Wi-Fi hot spots, which have a reach of about 300 feet, WiMax stations will be able to send and receive signals up to 30 miles away. This makes them ideal for the “last-mile” problem that plagues many neighborhoods that are too remote to receive Internet access via cable or DSL.

802.16e: The downside to WiMax is that it is a “fixed access” system, meaning that customers must mount a dishlike antenna outside their home or office to access it. To get around this, researchers are developing an extension to WiMax called 802.16e. The goal of 802.16e is to allow consumers to connect to the Internet while they are “moving at vehicular speeds.”

802.11n: Researchers expect 802.11n to increase the speed of Wi-Fi connections by 10 to 20 times. Although many home users won’t be able to benefit from the additional speed right away, because of limits on their cable or DSL connections, businesses are hoping the technology will allow them to forgo the burden of laying and maintaining Ethernet cabling throughout the building.

UWB: Dubbed Ultrawideband, the technology is intended primarily for in-home use to connect computers, stereos and TVs to one another without wires. When it is launched in mid-2005, Ultrawideband also will let users stream MP3s from their computers to their stereos and record TV shows on their computers, as long as the devices are within 30 feet of one another.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.