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Airgo Breaks 100 Mbps Wireless Barrier

Airgo's system does set a new standard for WLAN performance, but don't start ripping out your Ethernet cables yet. Fast Ethernet's throughput may reach only 90 Mbps, but it's a switched environment that offers dedicated bandwidth. WLANs, on the other hand, operate on a shared medium, where all users attached to an access point contend for bandwidth. The greater the number of users in a cell, the lower the average per-user throughput. That said, 120 Mbps of shared bandwidth is pretty hot, and it will certainly add fuel to the wireless movement.

However, True MIMO is proprietary, requiring Airgo-compatible technology on both ends of the connection. For enterprises buying Centrino-equipped notebooks, Airgo's technology doesn't offer much help. But for SOHO users--where maximum performance and range are critical--it may provide significant value. More important, it builds confidence that future Wi-Fi systems based on the emerging 802.11n standard will deliver on their potential.