802.11b Surges, Group Claims

The trade organization supporting 802.11b wireless local area networks (LANs) claimed Thursday that support for the technology is surging led, in part, by an increasing number of products for the home.

The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) said it has certified 138 Wi-Fi products since March of 2000. Wi-Fi is the name given to 802.11-certified products. The pace of certifications has picked up, with more than 70 products being certified so far in 2001, the group said.

“Sales through retail indicate that it is taking off in the home and small business areas,” said David Cohen, WECA’s chairperson. He noted that 802.11b support increasingly is being built into residential gateways used to support broadband connections into the home.

While 802.11b has long been the most popular wireless LAN technology in the enterprise, it is slugging it out with HomeRF in the home. While HomeRF was slower until recently, with one-tenth the throughput speeds of 802.11b, new generation HomeRF products are about to be released that nearly match speeds.

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