The year in review

This year should be a big one for wireless networking, according to John Armstrong, an analyst with Dataquest Inc.

“It seems to be coming together for wireless on a number of fronts,” Armstrong said. “You have the 802.11 wireless standard that seems to be more widely accepted in the LAN, because it allows for 11Mbps.”

There will also be plenty of wireless activity in the access arena, Armstrong said, as service providers deploy broadband wireless to give enterprises last mile connectivity. And the Bluetooth wireless standard, which will allow cell phones and other personal devices to link to other devices, should see some deployment in 2000.

Other technologies Armstrong predicts will see growth in 2000 are optical networking and the broadband access market.

In the optical area, Armstrong feels Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) will be deployed more broadly as carriers use it to increase bandwidth on their long-haul and metropolitan area routes. On the broadband front, DSL and cable modems, which were finally rolled out in scale this year, should continue to see significant growth.

Application Service Providers (ASPs), who emerged in 1999, will grow their customer bases in 2000, Armstrong said. ASPs will be very appealing to small- and medium-sized businesses, Armstrong noted, because the ASPs allow such businesses to deploy complex applications like SAP and Citrix. Such applications have been restricted to large enterprises in the past, because of their expense and complexity, he noted.

Even the home will become a hotbed for networking technologies, Armstrong believes.

“We’ll start to see appliances in the home, whether they be computers or white goods, rolling out of the factories that incorporate some kind of networking ability,” he said.