BT promotes home wireless revolution

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BT is touting a new range of wireless networking products for the home and for small businesses. The system has four components: a controller, data sockets, phone sockets and hand sets. All connections are wireless. It will support all major standards, including ISDN and ADSL. BT says that this product is part of the 'Interactive Home' concept, and should attract more than five million UK consumer users, and up to 10 million small busineses or teleworkers, within the next five years. First year sales are expected to top £35 million in the UK. The new system is the result of BT-funded research by US start up, Home Wireless Networks. The collaboration began last year, in response to the huge rise in popularity of the Internet and ecommerce. Nigel Stagg, BT's general consumer manager, commented: "In the USA, home networking has emerged as one of the growth markets in telecommunications, due to the need for shared Internet access and the ability to work more effevtively." Currently the spec is as follows, but BT says that as new standards emerge, the will be incorporated into the network. The system operates through an 'intelligent gateway' which supports a number of industry protocols, including DECT - with 10 frequency channels available - and TCP/IP, and the wirless ethernet standard IEEE 802.11. Both DECT and the 802.11 radios (wireless ethernet) have a range of about 300m in line of sight or 50-75m coverage in a building. Any single controller can support up to 16 wireless devices, of which 12 can be online at once. The range ships in the New Year®

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