New Version of Wi-Fi to Hit U.S. Markets Soon
SAN FRANCISCOA new version of Wi-Fi, the popular wireless technology that connects computers to the Internet, is making its way to the U.S. market, according to a Reuters news agency report. The improved Wi-Fi promises downloaded data rates of up to 1 gigabit per second — roughly 18.5 times the speed of Wi-Fi to personal computers and other devices. This Ultrawideband technology, which could become available in the next two years, also allows the devices to send data upstream to a network at 480 megabits per second. Back in the 1960s, Ultrawideband was once a classified military technology whose earliest applications weren’t so much in communications as in tracking stealth aircraft and the like, according to Bruce Watkins, chief executive of Pulselink, a San Diego firm focusing on the platform. In February 2002, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission approved the technology for commercial use. Since that time, two competing camps have sprung up and are now working to establish a single standard. Industry experts and analysts see Ultrawideband complementing both Wi-Fi, which now transmits data downstream at up to 54 megabits per second, and ultimately WiMax, a high-speed wireless technology that is in the early stages of development and works over much greater distances. “(Ultrawideband is) very inexpensive, works across short ranges, but has very high performance,” says analyst Craig Mathias of market research firm the Farpoint Group.
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