Wireless briefs

Cisco Systems Inc. last month unveiled products that will let companies integrate voice and data networks and more reliably deploy wireless LANs. For integrated voice and data, Cisco announced the IAD2400 series of integrated access devices, which, the company said, enable small and midsize companies to easily access bundled circuit- and packet-switched voice and data services from service providers. Cisco also announced the Aironet 350 series of wireless LAN products, which feature a number of security, performance and manageability enhancements over the previous generation of products. The IAD2400 is a scaled-down version of Cisco’s line of IADs, designed specifically for small and midsize companies. It resides in customer premises and connects LANs, routers, PBXs and telephones to the Internet and the public switched telephone network.

Qualcomm Inc. announced last month the development of an application platform for wireless devices, which the company said is a better alternative to Java for mobile telephones. Dubbed Brew, or binary run-time environment for wireless, the new system will be offered by Qualcomm initially to cellular carriers using its CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) technology, although the company is also in talks with GSM (Global System for Mobile communications) operators.

The head of NTT DoCoMo Inc.‘s popular I-mode service called on semiconductor engineers last month to develop new types of chips to allow the development of more advanced wireless Internet services. Launched in February of 1999, I-mode has fast become the poster child for the wireless Internet. It allows users to access a range of Internet content from their mobile handsets, including news and weather information, on-line banking, and games. I-mode has more than 18 million subscribers, and is attracting an average of 50,000 new users each day, said Kei-ichi Enoki, managing director of NTT DoCoMo. But emerging new technologies, including faster networks and the use of Java to write downloadable applets, leave plenty of room for innovation by semiconductor engineers, Enoki said.