CES: WLAN Speed Record?
The SOHO gear provider demonstrated its new RangeMax 240 access point on Wednesday. The new device provides a data rate of up to 240 Mbit/s when used with RangeMax 240 adapter cards.
In a research note Lehman Brothers says that this means that for the first time wireless LAN has “attained an effective throughput of up to 100 Mbit/s comparable to that of 10/100 Fast Ethernet wired networks.” Throughput refers to the consistent speeds attained over the shared medium of a wireless LAN network, as opposed to the maximum data rates available.
The RangeMax 240 uses chips from Airgo Networks Inc. , which has been promoting the concept of WLAN matching Ethernet speeds for some months now. (See Airgo Speeds WLAN.) So if the technology's available, why isn’t this kind of speed available in the enterprise wireless LAN market yet? Faster, high-capacity wireless LAN seems like a natural for applications like wireless VOIP and video-over-WiFi, but today's fastest enterprise access points typically offer maximum data transfer rates of 54 Mbit/s.
For one thing, the technology that the RangeMax products are based on isn’t yet standardized: The high-speed 802.11n standard, which will likely cover elements of the RangeMax technology, is still in gestation at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) . (See Waiting for High-Speed WiFi.) And unlike home users, enterprise users are typically leery of implementing pre-standardized wireless LAN technology.
Specifically targeting small businesses, Netgear is also demonstrating its 85-Mbit/s Ethernet wireless switch, which is designed to turn an electrical outlet into a four-port Fast Ethernet-style connection.
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung