Faster Wi-Fi Gear To Emerge Before Standards Do - InformationWeek

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8/12/2004
07:35 PM
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Faster Wi-Fi Gear To Emerge Before Standards Do

Multiple-antenna technology offers higher speeds and wider coverage, but a new standard needs to be adopted

Wi-Fi equipment vendor Belkin Corp. last week revealed plans for a router and wireless network card that use pre-standard 802.11n MIMO antenna technology created by Airgo Networks Inc.

MIMO stands for multiple input, multiple output and uses several antennas to expand the range of 802.11 wireless services, boost speeds, improve reliability, and reduce interference. The products will provide four times the coverage area and speed of equipment based on the 802.11b and 802.11g standards, according to Belkin. The products will be compatible with the older standards and will increase the performance of older equipment, the company says.

It's expected that MIMO technology, which enables multiple data streams, will be incorporated into the 802.11n standard. However, that standard isn't expected to be ratified until the end of 2005 or later, and there are conflicting proposals about what it will look like.

In the meantime, Airgo says its True MIMO technology adds some of the benefits of the forthcoming standard, such as higher speeds and greater coverage, to existing 802.11g technology.

Belkin's equipment is scheduled to ship in October. The router will be priced at $179.99 and the network card at $129.99.

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