The wireless backbone

Deployment of mobile multimedia systems will depend on the rollout of high-speed wireless systems nationwide. There are two basic network types:

Wireless local-area networks — Based on the IEEE 802.11 protocols, WLANs are starting to expand in cities' "hot spots." They are capable of data rates from around 1 megabit/sec up to 50 megabits/sec, and up to distances of several miles and more.

Cellular data networks — New technologies, being tested now by telecommunications companies in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, are capable of burst rates of up to 2.4 megabits/sec. Described as "cable modems on wheels," cellular data networks will probably be the ubiquitous wireless data networks of the future.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

Featured

  • FCW PERSPECTIVES
    sensor network (agsandrew/Shutterstock.com)

    Are agencies really ready for EIS?

    The telecom contract has the potential to reinvent IT infrastructure, but finding the bandwidth to take full advantage could prove difficult.

  • People
    Dave Powner, GAO

    Dave Powner audits the state of federal IT

    The GAO director of information technology issues is leaving government after 16 years. On his way out the door, Dave Powner details how far govtech has come in the past two decades and flags the most critical issues he sees facing federal IT leaders.

  • FCW Illustration.  Original Images: Shutterstock, Airbnb

    Should federal contracting be more like Airbnb?

    Steve Kelman believes a lighter touch and a bit more trust could transform today's compliance culture.

Stay Connected

FCW Update

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.