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Bell moves into WLAN space with launch of new service

Bell Canada today entered the wireless local area network (WLAN) market with a service it says will extend an enter...


October 22, 2002  


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Bell Canada today entered the wireless local area network (WLAN) market with a service it says will extend an enterprise infrastructure beyond the limitations of the physical network.

Working with system integrators, hardware vendors and software suppliers, the company says a typical WLAN deployment will help organizations stretch communications beyond the desktop, reduce infrastructur costs and provide anytime, anywhere access to enterprise mission critical information and applications.

Describing it as a "natural extension" of the company’s current business offerings, Bell Canada president Terry Mosey said WLANs have the potential to transform how business is conducted.

According to a 2002-2006 forecast report by research firm IDC Canada, corporations as a critical element of their enterprise mobile strategy are increasingly viewing WLANs. Ovum Research, meanwhile, estimates it could evolve into a global US$29 billion market by 2006.

Bell will base the service around the IEEE 802.11 standard, which allows users remote access to e-mail, enterprise software applications and streaming video. In terms of security, the company will offer multiple security protocols such as the Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP) algorithm to prevent unauthorized access to a wireless network and Kerberos, a network authentication protocol that uses secret-key cryptography.

Bell’s WLAN package will include Aironet 350 and 1200 Series Access Points from Cisco Systems Inc. and the NetVision data phone from Symbol Technologies Inc, which converts analog voice into compressed digital packets that are sent via TCP/IP protocol over standard data networks.

"The explosive demand for data has been a major catalyst in the evolution of WLAN," a company statement said. "While security and reliability have been concerns in the past, the acceptance of the 802.11 standard combined with the in-depth research and development efforts of industry leaders have played a major role in moving WLAN initiatives forward."


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