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The January 24, 2005 Issue Provided by System Dynamics Inc.
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CES 2005--"Broadband on Steroids": New Wireless Networking Technologies

At CES, we organized and moderated an "Emerging Technologies" session covering new wireless networking technologies in three areas:

  • Metropolitan areas (covering a town or city): WiMAX/802.16
  • Local areas (within a building): 802.11n (the next generation of Wi-Fi)
  • Personal areas (within a room): UWB and Wireless USB.

As Moderator, Dave provided an overview and introduced the speakers. Broadband On Steroids (PowerPoint, 0.2 MB)

Dr. Sayed-Amr “Sisso” El-Hamamsy, President and CEO of Wi-LAN, Inc., introduced WiMAX: broadband wireless for large metropolitan areas. He discussed the status of the 802.16 standards and the role of the WiMAX Forum. WiMAX: What’s All The Fuss About? (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 0.7 MB)

Greg Raleigh, President and CEO of Airgo Networks, described the coming emergence of a single digital home network. He discussed the critical role of MIMO (multiple input multiple output) "smart antenna" technology and the upcoming 802.11n standard--the next generation of Wi-Fi. MIMO Technology: The Reliable Wireless Digital Home Network is Here Now (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 1.6 MB)

Jeff Ravencraft, Technology Strategist at Intel Corporation and Chairman of the Wireless USB Promoter Group, discussed the emerging UWB (ultra wideband) technology and its application to Wireless USB. Wireless USB Initiative: First Hi-Speed WPAN Interconnect (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 4.7 MB)

Robert Pepper, Chief, Office of Plans and Policy at the Federal Communications Commission also spoke in the session on the Next Generation of Broadband. He described why broadband really matters to the US now that 30% of US households subscribe to DSL or cable. According to Pepper, broadband has had faster adoption than cell phones, VCRs and color TVs. The importance of wireless broadband is that it "overcomes the tyrannies of distance and destiny." In discussing policies for wireless broadband Pepper acknowledged that government (at the federal, state and local levels) can impede as well as enable wireless. He referenced issues such as antenna sites, rights of way, access to capital and resolving interference issues as ones that are of real concern.