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802.11 is the working standard for local networks working in a wireless capacity. Essentially, it is the industry term for applications understood by the general public to be "wi-fi" applications. In the past few years, the term "wi-fi" has been on the lips of anyone excited about the potential for wireless LAN applications--applications that could significantly change the way business is done.

To some extent, wi-fi is already changing the way business is done, with a proliferation of wi-fi capable PDAs and notebooks now available on the market. Cell phones have gotten into the act by serving as virtual antennas receiving wireless data for transmission into laptops. All in all, the sector of the telecom industry that includes wireless technology has taken off in just a few short years, with entrepreneurs envisioning some exciting possibilities.

One of those possibilities involves the use of wireless technology to deliver phone and Internet service to rural locations that are not effectively served by traditional land-line systems. At the same time, this technology could quickly become a permanent feature of urban areas, as customers are quickly warming to thoughts of ubiquitous Internet access. The capability is there--wi-fi applications are becoming cost-effective and more secure than ever, so the viability of this technology is only increasing.

802.11: The Future of Telecom in Numbers

802.11 could very well represent the future of the telecom industry in numbers. Wi-fi technology is making network access possible where it was only dreamed of just 10 years ago, and those same dreams of universal accessibility are quickly becoming reality. As always, the end-user will ultimately decide the fate of this young technology, but by all estimations, wi-fi is here to stay.

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