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Intel Corporation introduced this week its Intel PRO/Wireless 2100A network connection for notebook PCs based on Intel Centrino mobile platform technology. The Intel PRO/Wireless 2100A network connection adds higher speed 802.11a capability to Intel Centrino mobile technology, which currently features 802.11b wireless functionality.

The introduction of the 2100A is part of Intel’s efforts to provide high-performance, standards-based wireless local area network (WLAN) solutions. The 802.11a protocol supports complex Internet applications with its higher throughput, while also allowing higher concentrations of users per WLAN access point. Additionally, 802.11a operates in the 5GHz range, making 802.11a-enabled connections less susceptible to the interference that can be encountered with 802.11b connections operating in the 2.4GHz range. The main advantage 802.11a brings is 54Mb/s speed, about 5 times more than 802.11b.

Intel is expected to release an 802.11a/b/g solution only in the second half next year. Despite of the fact that 802.11a standard is not really popular, some may require high-speed WLAN now and will surely deploy the 802.11a-based network. Therefore, the introduction of the PRO/Wireless 2100A solution seems reasonable.

802.11g brings 54Mb/s transfer rate at conventional 2.4GHz frequency.

The Intel PRO/Wireless 2100A network connection complements existing 2100-based solutions, with 2100 solutions expected to continue shipping in high volumes throughout 2003 and into 2004. The Intel PRO/Wireless 2100A is Wi-Fi Certified and fully supports WPA and WEP security protocols and third-party security solutions such as Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX).

The PRO/Wireless 2100A also features Intel PROSet software, which provides easy configuration, advanced profile management that enables multiple setup profiles to connect to different WLAN networks as the client moves between different access points, connection status monitoring, and the ability to turn the 802.11 radios on and off.

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