The Commercial Market

Enterprise Business Information Technology Expenditures 2002-2006

In-Stat/MDR estimates that US enterprise businesses (firms with 1000 or more employees) spent more than $225 B on information technology (IT) in 2002, up three percent from 2001 estimates. By 2006, In-Stat/MDR estimates that enterprise firms will spend nearly $256 B on information technology products, services and personnel. Enterprises are expected to be more cautious with their spending moving forward, with many having learned a lesson from the over investment in the late nineties and 2000. Firms are expected to look for investments that can improve the efficiency of their core business operations (as opposed to going into a new line of business using technology).

Although growth in spending per firm is not expected to be overwhelming, this, combined with growth in the number of enterprise firms, should lead to moderate growth in total enterprise IT spending over the next several years. Year-to-year growth in IT spending is expected to continue to increase this year and in 2004, where it is expected to peak at more than four percent. In-Stat/MDR expects that after 2004 growth should slow, falling to roughly one percent annual growth by 2006, due mainly to consolidation among the largest firms in this market. While each segment should follow this same trend, the smallest enterprise firms' expenditures should experience the greatest growth moving forward. In comparison to other business segments, the overall enterprise market remains, by far, the largest in terms of IT spending, accounting for nearly 46 percent of all US business IT expenditures this year. However, this market's IT spending is expected to experience the slowest growth over the next several years, leading the enterprise market's share of total spending to fall to roughly 44 percent in 2006.

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Space Systems/Loral Resumes Construction of Wildblue-1 Satellite

Space Systems/Loral, a subsidiary of Loral Space and Communications, announced that it has resumed construction of Wildblue-1, the world's first commercially dedicated, all-Ka-band, multiple spot beam, broadband satellite for Wildblue Communications Inc., Denver, CO. Wildblue recently announced that INTELSAT, Liberty Satellite and Technology Inc., the National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative (NRTC), Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and David Drucker, Wildblue chairman, agreed to invest $156 M in the company, which will allow Wildblue to enter commercial service in 2004 and complete its investment in the Wildblue-1 satellite.

"Space Systems/Loral is proud to be at the forefront of providing the most advanced and reliable satellite technology to operators around the world," said C. Patrick DeWitt, president, Space Systems/Loral. "The continuation of the Wildblue project will provide important and timely broadband services to users across North America."

Wildblue is designed to provide consumers and small businesses in the US fast and affordable two-way wireless Internet access using a mini-dish antenna. Wildblue-1 is currently scheduled to launch aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle.

Wildblue-1 will generate more than 10 kW of power at beginning of life, and will cover North America with 41 overlapping Ka-band spot beams. Eight tracking antennas on board the satellite provide precision pointing of the beams over the contiguous US. The 4.7 metric ton spacecraft will operate from the 109.2 degrees west longitude orbital position. Wildblue-1 is based on SS/L's 1300 satellite platform and is designed to achieve a long, useful life, in this case, over 12 years. The satellite achieves excellent station keeping and orbital stability by using bipropellant propulsion and momentum-bias systems. A system of high efficiency solar arrays and batteries provides uninterrupted electrical power. In all, SS/L satellites have amassed nearly 1000 years of on-orbit service.

IEEE P802.11g™ Extension to 802.11b Gains Working Group Approval

The IEEE P802.11g™ standard for wireless local area networks (LAN), which will extend the data rate of the IEEE 802.11b™-1999 to 54 Mbps from its current level of 11 Mbps, has been approved by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. Two approval steps remain within the consensus process followed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers before IEEE 802.11g is completed. Final approval is expected in mid-June 2003 with publication in late July 2003.

The 802.11g Task Group, which is developing this standard, was formed in September 2000. It is a diverse body containing representatives from well over 100 computer, networking and software companies, as well as those from consultant organizations and academic institutions. "By extending the IEEE 802.11b PHY to 54 Mbps, IEEE 802.11g will create data-rate parity at 2.4 GHz with IEEE standard 802.11a™, which allows for a 54 Mbps rate at

5 GHz," said Stuart Kerry, chair of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. "Given the large installed base of commercial 802.11b-based WLANs, there is a strong market demand for this extension to 54 Mbps so existing WLANs can operate more efficiently. Now that we have a complete draft of the IEEE P802.11g standard, some manufacturers are beginning to release products in accordance with it. While the IEEE is pleased to see early development of products based on our work, it is quite speculative to release products at this time."

"The IEEE P802.11g draft had technical changes made to it at the January session and further changes were expected starting in March 2003 based on comments received from the sponsor organization of IEEE 802.11," said Brian Mathews, the IEEE 802.11 publicity chair. He added, "The only sure way to guarantee compliance and avoid potential interoperability problems is to wait for final ratification of 802.11g, which is highly likely in June 2003."

The 802.11g Task Group updated its draft to version 6.1 at its meeting in January 2003. The 802.11g draft obtained approval of the IEEE 802.11 Working Group on Draft 6.1 via balloting that closed on February 4, 2003. The IEEE 802 Executive Committee approved forwarding of the draft to the IEEE Standard Association for final balloting at the sponsor level. Initial balloting results from the sponsor level were expected back before the IEEE 802.11g Task Group met in Dallas in March 2003. At that session, the IEEE 802.11g Task Group planned to update the draft to version 7.0 based on subcommittee comments. "We are very pleased with the accelerated progress that we achieved in January and February of this year," said Matthew Shoemake, chairperson of the IEEE 802.11g Task Group. "This quick progress has significantly increased the likelihood of having final approval by June 2003."

IEEE P802.11g, "Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications: Higher Speed Physical Layer Extension to IEEE 802.11b," will boost wireless LAN speed to 54 Mbps by using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). The IEEE 802.11g specification is backward compatible with the widely deployed IEEE 802.11b standard. By using an enhanced protocol, 802.11g enables mixed network operation. This mixed operation allows legacy 802.11b devices to operate at 11 Mbps while new 802.11g devices operate at 54 Mbps on the same network. This simultaneous operation capability will give consumers a clean path to upgraded performance without having to be tethered to 802.11b performance when in a mixed network. The extension will improve access to fixed network LANs and inter-network infrastructures, and will also create higher performing ad-hoc networks. IEEE 802.11g maintains the spectral mask and carrier frequencies of the IEEE 802.11b standard.

IEEE P802.11g, which is being developed by the IEEE 802.11 Working Group for Wireless LANs, is sponsored by the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Society. For further information, visit: