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Wi-Fi trade body approves first WLAN mobile phones

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The Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) has certified the first devices the integrate 802.11 wireless networking with mobile phone network communications for their successful interoperability with other WLAN products.

The organisation also extended a hand to the mobile phone industry with a promise that it will explore its particular needs for Wi-Fi certification.

Not all the newly certified products are available today. HP's iPaq h6315 is, as are SanDisk's Connect Wi-Fi SD Card and Intermec's 760 Mobile Computer. However, the WFA said it has also certified upcoming handhelds, including Motorola's MPx Windows Mobile smart phones and Nokia's 9500 Communicator, both due out by the end the year.

The recruitment drive for mobile phone companies, meanwhile, should further strengthen the Wi-Fi brand, particularly once more devices use 802.11 for VoIP rather than data exchange and Internet connectivity. Corporates and consumers alike will want to be sure that new 802.11-equipped will work with their existing Wi-Fi networks, and that's the pledge the WFA makes with its certification programme.

Working out how to convince the world's many mobile phone makers and network operators of that value is the job of the working group whose formation the WFA announced this week. ®

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