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Spreading Wi-Fi Rumors

The report also confuses known, albeit rare, performance problems associated with 802.11's MAC design with interference. It goes on to suggest that a solution is for everyone in a building to use the same 802.11 ESSID. Right. That will solve the problem--not!

The report's other "solutions" include making more RF spectrum available, moving to 802.11a and waiting for "smarter technology." The analyst asserts that chipmaker Atheros has extended the range of 802.11b to 900 feet at 1 Mbps. Not only is this statement false (Atheros' designs extend the range of 802.11a), but if it were true, it would exacerbate rather than diminish the problem.

Aberdeen doesn't stop at offending WLAN technologists. The report also takes a shot at FCC policymakers, who have played an admirable role over the years in the regulation of unlicensed radio. The analyst reminds us that these are the same folks who brought us the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Fair enough. Now we all get to remember Aberdeen Group as the organization responsible for this "fine" piece of technology analysis. --Dave Molta (For more, go to

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