Wi-Fi Product Watch: September 2006

Companies like Cisco and Motorola are sponsoring a new Web site called UMA Today, which they call a “complete source of information on the UMA market.” UMA, short for Unlicensed Mobile Access, is a tech that allows calls to hand off between a cellular network and a Wi-Fi network, requiring a phone that supports both types. It’s growing in popularity overseas, and there’s at least one trial of it in the United States with a major carrier. Check the site out for a central repository on all things UMA.



Garderos Software Innovations has released new software for wireless broadband providers to enhance Wi-Fi support and offer WiMax as well. Its C-OSS platform (carrier operational support software) will allow secure authentication of users, including those using SIM card modules. Its RADIUS access controller supports VLANs and zones. The new Multi-Protocol Access Controller (MPAC) will let WiMax operators allow subscriber authentication right at the base station.

Airgo Networks’ True MIMO Media chips are part of the power behind a new reference design called SimpleWare Home. Along with chips from STMicroelectronics and software from Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI), the chips allow for wireless playback and centralized management of all the DVDs, CDs, and digitial video, audio and photos on home entertainment systems. The tech is on display at the IFA Conference in Germany this week.

If you’re planning on taking the CWNA Exam for wireless network administration any time soon, be aware that the exam has been updated to reflect current terminology set by the IEEE. The CWNA courseware has the update, but CWNP will not be publishing a new study guide including changes. You’ll have to read the full list online. They include such things as Power over Ethernet, referred to at 802.2-2005, clause 33 (instead of the old 802.3af).

September 5, 2006

What state loves their Wi-Fi? Perhaps Rhode Island most of all. CDW Government, a subsidiary of CDW, today announced their second State & Local Government Technology Investment Curve (TIC) to see which government since 2000 has purchased the most Wi-Fi equipment (this doesn’t mean they’ve deployed the most, just bought it for different things, not all of which may be public — it’s quantity, not connectivity). RI has an investment profile of 147% over the average. Ohio, Colorado, Utah, California, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming follow, all well above the average. CDW-G says the more public-private partnerships a government has, the more it invests in wireless.

Symbol Technologies will provide the Wi-Fi and other parts that will be used in a new handheld gaming/gambling on demand system for casinos to be made by Sona Mobile Holdings and Shuffle Master. Symbol will apparently help the company get regulatory permission to get the device out into the wild.

Xirrus says it can extend the Quality of Service (QoS) for voice and video traffic found on wired networks to its Wi-Fi Array. The array will support the Wi-Fi QoS standard of 802.11e, plus will tag wireless packets with 802.1Q virtual LAN and 802.1p prioritization when sourced on the wired network. The company says  tagging and prioritization will extend wired QoS to Wi-Fi, and that previous switched WLANs couldn’t tag or prioritize packets moving from the AP to the wiring closet.

Techworld is reporting on a transceiverprints, a technology under investigation that could transform wireless security. Researchers at Carleton University in Ottawa say they could tell the difference between signals from different devices even if they were from the same manufacturer. Each signal could be recognized as matching a pre-recorded transceiverprint from the product. It could be just what the doctor ordered to keep networks locked just to approved devices, MAC address spoofed or not.

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