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IBM cutting the cord by June 2001

All notebooks to get wireless LAN technology

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IBM has said it will integrate wireless LAN technology into all its commercial notebooks by the end of the first half of next year.

Fortunately this is not yet another attempt to plug Bluetooth technology. The machines will all support the 802.11 standard, which works on the same frequency as Bluetooth, but has a range of 300m and transmits data at up to 11Mbps.

It is not the first or only vendor to promise to support wireless LAN, but it says the timescale is an indication of how seriously it is being taken in the industry.

The power considerations have kept the 802.11 standard out of laptops until now, IBM said, as well as the sizing constraints. Trading the wireless connection for a dial up modem or Ethernet would be a mistake, the company said.

However, as we move into next year, IBM's spokespeople said, the technology will have improved such that all three will fit into the lighter notebooks. ®

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