Xircom, Inc. (Nasdaq:XIRC), the leading provider of mobile information access solutions, today announced aggressive plans to enable wireless access for mobile users who want to connect to their network and Internet-based information and services from a variety of devices, regardless of their location.
Xircom plans to integrate an array of wireless technologies, including Bluetooth short-range radio, 802.11 wireless LAN (WLAN), GPRS and CDMA, into a wide range of solutions providing multiple wireless access options that are easily customized for use by the corporate enterprise, small and mid-size business, home-office worker and consumer.
"It's all about access these days and users do not want to be limited to how, when or where they can have access to their information," said Andy Seybold, Editor-in-Chief of Andrew Seybold's Outlook. "Xircom recognizes the need to embrace wireless technology and is adopting it into a variety of platforms allowing customers to pick and choose the right wireless solution for their lifestyle."
The research firm The Yankee Group predicts there will be over one billion digital cellular subscribers worldwide by 2003. Along with this growth, Interscape Research believes a full 65-70% of mobile phone users will utilize wireless Internet data sources as early as 2002. As life- and work styles become more mobile and flexible, people continue to demand and expect access to powerful multimedia and data applications, such as e-mail, file transfer, and web browsing -- regardless of their location. In addition, the need for critical, time-sensitive information like stock quotes, sports scores, online auction bids and flight information is contributing toward the ever-increasing demand for wireless access.
"The dream of 'everywhere, all the time' wireless access to information is finally becoming a reality. As lifestyles become more mobile, wireless technology puts critical information, people and resources right at the user's fingertips," said Dirk Gates, Xircom chairman, president and chief executive officer. "Technological advances will drive performance improvements in wireless products, and Xircom will lead the market to drive widespread wireless adoption with our comprehensive and innovative Bluetooth, Wireless LAN and Wide Area Networking information access solutions."
The revolutionary new Bluetooth technology transfers data via short-range radio signals at 1Mbps, creating a "personal area network" for devices, like mobile computers, mobile phones, handheld PCs and wearable information accessories, to synchronize, exchange up-to-date information and connect to the Internet at high speeds without the need for wires or cables. When Bluetooth-enabled devices are within a 10-meter range of each other, users can transparently transfer schedule and address book information between their accessory device and notebook PC or automatically dial through their mobile phone to access the Internet. Research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) predicts a compound annual growth rate of over 80% for worldwide Bluetooth shipments between 2000 and 2003. In CeBIT Hall 11, Booth G39, Xircom will be demonstrating its Bluetooth CompactFlash and PC Card solutions for handheld and notebook PCs respectively.
The recent ratification of the 11Mbps wireless LAN standard, known as 802.11b, and development of the new 25Mbps HiperLAN/2 technology provides the much-needed support for WLAN's mainstream adoption beyond its initial more vertical applications. IDC statistics show a total of US$500 million was spent on WLAN solutions in 1999 and predicts the worldwide WLAN market installed base will experience a 60% compound growth rate between 2000 and 2003. In addition, changing workgroup needs and the increasing mobility of employees, combined with the higher-speed connectivity and continually decreasing prices are making WLAN solutions extremely attractive to the small business, Small Office/Home Office and large enterprise alike.
Xircom has pioneered the support of wireless data via GSM through strategic alliances with handset manufacturers like Ericsson, and will continue supporting the wireless WAN (WWAN) technologies, like GPRS and CDMA, that have strong evolution paths toward the future multi-megabit, high-speed wireless technologies. GSM is a digital cellular radio network operating in over 200 countries worldwide. GPRS, an enhanced version of GSM, delivers data across existing GSM infrastructures at speeds up to 115Kbps. CDMA is a wireless standard prevalent in North and South America, Korea and Japan. Xircom will support cdmaOne(TM) and its successor cdma2000(TM) which are worldwide standards endorsed by the CDMA Developer's Group (CDG).
For the past three years, Xircom has been supporting its PC Card users with wireless data connection kits for GSM telephone handsets. Xircom contributes toward the future wide area wireless standard as a member of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and also helps define user interface and infrastructure requirements for wireless Internet access in the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) Forum.
Beginning in the second quarter of 2000, Xircom plans to integrate Bluetooth short-range radio, 802.11 WLAN, GSM, GPRS and CDMA, where appropriate, into its full range of form factors, which include the RealPort(TM) Integrated PC Card, CreditCard, Handheld Connectivity, USB Port Expansion and Rex(R) Wearable Information Accessory product lines. See chart below for product availability.
Products will be available through Xircom's worldwide
network of distributors, value-added resellers (VARs), catalogs and online
channels as well as through select Xircom OEMs.
Xircom Wireless Access Solutions Timeline CreditCard RealPort2 CompactCard Springboard PortStation/ PortGear ============ ========== ========= =========== =========== ============ Bluetooth Q2 Q3 Q2 Q2 Q3 ============ ========== ========= =========== =========== ============ 802.11 Q2 Q3 -- Q2 Q3 ============ ========== ========= =========== =========== ============ CDMA Q4 Q4 -- -- -- ============ ========== ========= =========== =========== ============ GPRS Q4 Q4 -- -- -- ============ ========== ========= =========== =========== ============
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