Sunday, June 25, 2006

So just what is wireless?

From Home

In this part of the world, the last few years have seen the word 'wireless' become synonymous with Wi-Fi.

For several years more, in North America, wireless has usually been taken to mean what Europeans call cellular mobile.

When I say wireless, I mean the totality of wireless communications, including all the frequency bands, technologies and application areas. It even includes non-radio technologies, such as infra-red data and line-of-sight optical communications. This definition is reasonably consistent with the definition currently in Wikipedia.

Wireless in this broad sense is more than a century old.

Why does it matter? Because the danger is that a poor choice for mapping an application to a technology and frequency band could lead users to conclude that any wireless technology will produce the same result. They may then be reticent to put any more time, effort or money into getting it right, and that would limit their capabilities to communnicate and gain benefits, as well as slowing the industry.

Reclaim wireless! The campaign starts here...

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