Although wireless LANs are just starting to stake out ground as a viable communications link in corporate networks, a faster technology with a smaller chip set that moves the transmissions to a spectrum with less interference is scheduled to appear early next year. Possibly this will propel wireless LAN technology into widespread use in the enterprise.
Radiata Communications, based in the US, has heralded a two-chip wireless "engine" built using the IEEE 802.11a wireless standard. Radiata said it expects to get the chips into the hands of equipment makers by early next year.
Sporting data rates as high as 54Mbit/sec, eventual wireless LAN products built using the 802.11a chip set will be capable of running multimedia applications and other bandwidth-heavy transmissions simultaneously, according to Radiata officials.
Most wireless LAN products in the market today are based on the 802.11b standard, which supports data rates as high as 11Mbit/sec and operates in the 2.4GHz range.
But some concerns have emerged surrounding the 2.4GHz band because it is growing increasingly cluttered with other wireless technologies including, for example, microwave and cordless phones. This issue is expected to be compounded when Bluetooth products operating in the 2.4GHz band hit the market later this year.