August 26, 2004, 1:21 PM —
|This is an edited transcript of a webcast program. For a richer experience, watch the webcast.|
Analyst: Robin Bloor, Baroudi Bloor
Watch it: Available 24x7
Takeaway: Wireless technologies are rapidly maturing and becoming relevant to the small and business. Early business applications are already in place, particularly in Europe and in the Far East.
Hi, I'm Robin Bloor, Principal of Baroudi Bloor, an IT analyst company in the Boston area, and I'm going to look at wireless and mobile technology today.
If you've been watching the press over the past few years, you will have heard reference to various wireless technologies. In particular Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Wireless Local Loop and 3G - third generation of cell phone technology.
There's obviously been a fair amount of interest in this, and there's been a fair amount of investment by the telecoms company.
Technically, the difference between these technologies has to do with the wavelength of the radio waves that they carry and their range of transmission. Thus Bluetooth is a very short distance transmission and 3G for much more distance transmissions. All of them offer very high speeds of data transfer - much higher than current connectivity to the Internet, and provide different kinds of wireless connectivity.
Beginning in the year 2000 there was a groundswell of enthusiasm for Wi-Fi and this has now spread to the point where in the U.S. alone there are 18 million users, and usage is spreading quickly across the world.
The popularity of Wi-Fi has prompted VCs and investors to invest heavily in associated technologies to build the devices that will make a wireless network work right across the nation and across the world. It is demonstrated already that consumers are finding benefits in wireless technology. Major vendors across the IT industry from Microsoft to Cisco are actively finding ways to get involved.
So what is it that is so dramatically different about wireless computing devices?
Clearly, wired devices are fixed to a given location because of the wire itself. Wireless devices are location independent and you can take them with you when you move around. This may sound like a simple idea, but it's a very important idea because it defines the whole usage of the devices.