Connectivity Briefs: Intel, 3G

Connectivity Briefs: Intel, 3G

Intel ships dual band wireless chip

Intel has announced its first 802.11g wireless chip for notebooks bearing the Centrino banner. The Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG chip allows users to connect to either 802.11b or 802.11g wireless networks. Intel is shipping the chip to its notebook customers with systems expected worldwide during the first quarter, an Intel spokesman, Dan Francisco, said. The Centrino package of the Pentium M processor, a mobile chipset, and the Intel Pro/Wireless 2100 chip was introduced in March last year with 802.11b capability only. Intel had hoped to have the greater bandwidth options available at the Centrino launch, but a series of delays pushed the launch of the com­bination 802.11a/b chip into October. A dual-band chip with support for all three major WLAN networks is expected to start shipping to customers in the middle of this year, Francisco said. In 10,000-unit quantities, the Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG chip costs $US25.

3G on its way, says IDC

This year will be the year 3G services take off, according to analyst group IDC. Despite technical issues, an inadequate supply of handsets and three out of the four licensed carriers deferring their network build-out, IDC analyst, Warren Chaisatien, said 3G subscribers would triple to about 300,000 by the end of the year. Chaisatien said 2004 would be a watershed year for the technology. He highlighted improvements in network coverage and performance, enhancements in handset design and functionality, carrier partnerships, handset vendor co-operation, better plans and the development of more relevant applications as critical to its success.

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