The Commercial Market

IEEE 802.20 Will Set Data Rates Above 1 Mbps for Mobile Users

Mobile broadband wireless access (MBWA) for computers, personal digital assistants and other battery-powered devices is to take a major step forward. The next two years will see a standard developed at the IEEE to create an air-interface that delivers service levels to mobile users traveling at speed as great as 250 km/hr that are comparable to wired broadband systems, such as cable and DSL connections.

The standard, IEEE 802.20™, "Standard Air Interface for Mobile Broadband Wireless Access Systems Supporting Vehicular Mobility-physical and Media Access Control Layer Specification," will seek to boost real-time data transmission rates in wireless metropolitan area networks from the dial-up rates of today's cellular phones to a broadband experience of 1 Mbps or more. By providing ubiquitous mobile broadband networking based on cell ranges of up to 15 km or more, the standard will remove barriers for mobile interactive voice, video and data services.

IEEE P802.20 will address MBWA in licensed bands below 3.5 GHz. It will optimize airwave use for mobility and allow for many more simultaneous users than existing mobile systems now accommodate. IEEE plans to have the standard in place by the end of 2004. "Our goal is to bring a true broadband experience to wireless users," says Mark Klerer, 802.20 working group chair and executive director of standards at Flarion Technologies. "In so doing, we hope to make MBWA a viable option for transferring large amounts of data in real time via the Internet, intranets and enterprise systems to mobile users within metropolitan area networks. The standard will target sustained spectral efficiencies of more than 1 bit/second/ Hz/cell, which is more than double that of today's systems. It will promote fully QoS-enabled airlinks having high spectral efficiency and low latency, giving users a high speed wireless data experience equivalent in quality to wired links."

The standard will provide for an efficient packet-based air interface with high speed downlink and uplink capabilities. In providing for low latency, it will enable telephony using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and activities needing rapid network response times, such as on-line gaming and financial transactions. The standard also will support other IP-centric applications, so the many native IP applications can be used without alterations. Individuals with expertise in mobile wireless systems, air interfaces and mobility are invited to join the IEEE 802.20 working group. The group will hold a meeting at the IEEE 802 plenary meeting in Dallas, TX, on March 10 to 13, 2003. For more information on IEEE 802.20, visit:

This project is sponsored by the Working Group on Mobile Broadband Wireless Access of the LAN/MAN Standards Committee in the IEEE Computer Society.

Commerce Dept. Announces Plans for Modernization of Technology Agencies

US Secretary of Commerce, Don Evans, announced that he will propose to modernize the structure for the Department's formulation of technology and telecommunications policy. The new structure will combine the Technology Administration (TA), the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and the e-commerce policy functions of the International Trade Administration (ITA) into one consolidated and well-coordinated agency.

"Convergence is the business model of the digital economy - it should be the business model in the federal government," said Secretary Evans. "This administration understands that our global market place has changed and that telecom and technology operate together, not separately. We need to adjust our thinking and adjust our structure to keep pace with the world, our economy and innovation."

The Department of Commerce currently develops and implements technology and telecommunications policy in three bureaus: the TA, NTIA and ITA. To complement the recent convergence in the private sector of technology and communication companies, Secretary Evans is proposing to reorganize departmental personnel and management to facilitate coordination in domestic and international policy development for these increasingly inter-related sectors of the economy.

"These changes make sense - for the department, for industry and for the American people," said Deputy Secretary of Commerce Sam Bodman, "and they support the President's focus on improving management and policy coordination across government."

"These organizational changes will institutionalize the effective and productive working relationship that I have developed with TA under the leadership of under secretary Phil Bond, and this also puts in place a workable structure that will benefit our successors in the years to come," said Nancy J. Victory, assistant secretary for communications and information and NTIA administrator. "What matters most is performance and results, and we believe these organizational changes will help us accomplish our jobs and better serve the American people."

Under the new organizational structure being proposed, the under secretary for technology would oversee the new agency that would focus on a range of issues including technical standards, spectrum management, and technology and e-commerce policy issues.

"The synergy between technology and telecommunications is a global reality," added under secretary of technology Phil Bond. "Bringing TA together with NTIA and a portion of ITA will enhance the Administration's focus on issues critical to our innovation economy and America's technological leadership. We look forward to working with Congress on this proposal." The proposed changes will require congressional approval.

Wireless LAN's Future Established as Big Tech and Telecom Companies Enter the Market

The wireless LAN (WLAN) industry is experiencing tremendous growth aided by lower pricing points and standardization of the technology. Allied Business Intelligence (ABI) believes that this growth will continue to accelerate, as multi-billion dollar technology and telecommunications companies such as Microsoft, Intel, Dell, AT&T and IBM, to name a few, enter the WLAN industry. These corporations bring their deep financial pockets and millions of potential customers to the WLAN industry.

"The WLAN industry will continue to experience stellar growth as deployments in several key markets take place," predicts analyst John W. Chang, senior analyst and author of the report. "These key markets include residential homes, small-medium offices, enterprises, academic campuses, transportation facilities, health care sites, industrial centers and at the local neighborhood eatery. Additionally, 802.11a, 802.11g and dual-band protocols are some of the key catalysts that will accelerate the market adoption of WLAN with its higher speeds of up to 54 Mbps."

ABI's research also indicates:

  • The WLAN industry will generate $1.67 B in total revenue through the end of 2003
  • Dual-band equipment will comprise 53 percent of the total WLAN equipment revenue by 2005
  • Total WLAN nodes shipped will grow from 23.38 million in 2003 to 63.97 million in 2008, as these tech companies continue to spur the adoption of WLAN

The ABI report, "WiFi Networking Equipment: Worldwide Deployments, Drivers, Players and Forecasts for 802.11x," examines the deployments of WLAN equipment worldwide and provides a realistic outlook on where the industry is headed. This report also covers protocol and standards development, the opportunities and challenges for equipment vendors, and the challenges in deploying biometrics worldwide. Critical analyses of the key equipment vendors worldwide are covered. Market forecasts are segmented by standards .11b, .11a, .11g and dual-band. Worldwide WLAN equipment and revenue forecasts, and end user analysis are included in this report. Detailed examination of technology shifts, market leaders and revenue by world regions through 2008 are also included.

Details can be found on the Web at or by calling (516) 624-3113.