By Simon Duddy
Next generation wireless technologies grabbed the headlines at today’s Connections seminar, hosted in Dubai by cabling distributor Anixter.
Anixter hosted the Connections seminar at the Meridien airport hotel in Dubai today and most presentations focused on how innovative new wireless technology will impact infrastructure business n the region.
Proxim’s regional sales manager for the Middle East & Africa, Bryan Hall, set the tone by saying that technologies such as WiMax could help to make the wireless world concept a reality.
“WiMax could help to complete a seamless wireless network, that ranges from personal are network (PANs) to indoor wireless network (Wi-Fi), extending to WiMax, which will cover metropolitan areas to the cellular networks that provide coverage in most areas of the globe,” says Hall.
Wireless vendor Proxim has identified six key opportunities for WiMax, from mobile enterprise applications, to last mile broadband access, citywide wireless access, security and surveillance applications, public hot spots and voice and data backhaul for cellular traffic.
The increased prevalence of wireless technologies brings the security uncertainties regarding wireless into sharper relief however.
“Wireless extends the network beyond the borders of buildings, it’s like having Ethernet ports in the car park,” says Yasser Helmy, business development manager, HP ProCurve.
Anixter has pulled out WPA as a key technology in combating hackers.
“WPA, with its dynamically changing encryption keys, is a very strong form of protection. 802.11i includes WPA and also has ADS encryption, which is a very robust solution though some access points in the market are not powerful enough to support it,” says Mark Niblett, area sales technical manager, Anixter.
“Site survey is also important to limit the borders of the wireless LAN, but security should be appropriate to the value of data being protected,” he adds.
The Connections seminars have wound their way across the EMEA region, starting in May in Turkey and finishing in Dubai today.
Systimax outlined how sound wired infrastructure will form the backbone of any wireless network, while Proxim focused on delivering seamless mobility.
Nomadix brought attention to its wireless public access gateways and HP emphasised the mobility benefits in its product range.
Laserbit showcased a laser-based alternative to radio-based solutions with its FSO products, SpectraLink took on wireless voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and Axis Communications dealt with IP surveillance.
Anixter projects a turnover of US$2.9 billion for 2004.