Forget Wi-Fi! Get ready for Gi-Fi

Dev Gupta, for me has become a proxy for the next new and big thing. This time around he has cooked-up a plan to permanently replace the wired local area networks with ‘super’ wireless network that can shuttle data at speeds of up to two gigabits per second. Sounds ludicrous right? After all the 54 megabit/second 802.11g technology is only just becoming mainstream and has its fair share of problems. Gupta however is thinking a little bit long term. (More…)

I have known him for many years. The co-founder of Narad Networks (where he is chairman), a cable-broadband equipment provider, Gupta has an uncanny knack of picking the right networking pony. For instance, back in 1995 he figured that DSL was going to be big, and built a company on that hunch. Dagaz was later bought by Cisco Systems. Then in 1998 he started MaxComm Technologies which allowed broadband connections to carry voice and data at the same time. Cisco bought this one again.

And in 2000 he started Narad Networks to build equipment that would allow cable companies sell 100 megabit/second connections to small and medium sized businesses; an option that would kill the Baby Bells’ T-1 business. Telecom meltdown has had its effect on Narad, but once the cable companies loosen their purse strings, Narad would hit its stride once again. But now onto his next venture, which is tentatively (and elegantly) called NewLANS Inc. What is he trying to do with this company? Even though he is quite cagey about it, I managed to extract some information from him.

NewLANS is working on a way to develop “Multi Gigabit data rate solution for wireless Gigabit to the Desktop (GTTD) which operates in 56 + GHz bands.” The FCC recently opened up the spectrum and Gupta and others are working on a standard which will allow transmissions that are able to overcome security and quality of service problems that plague the current generation of Wi-Fi products. “The idea is to develop a standard which is secure at all layers and can deliver at least 2 gigabits per second to your desktop,” he says. If this happens, well there goes the need for hard wiring your campuses. But there is more to Gi-Fi!

In a presentation, at a recent IEEE meeting, it was noted that there are some inherent advantages of wGTTD when compared to the current generation of 802.x technologies. For instance, wGTTD helps with

* Cost effective location of network resources which enables greater centralization of server and storage resources
* Improved network efficiency – which translated into enhanced productivity for users and network managers. Network Managers: Enable remote software installations, software upgrades, data backup and better utilization of network resources
* Deployment of new generation applications are bandwidth intensive, such as
High resolution video conferencing, broadcast video, video-on-demand, online training, distance leaning, peer-to-peer collaboration, file transfers, data mining, data base applications (CRM, ERP), email with attachments.

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