Cable already a thing of the past: 3COM

Wilson was speaking at the launch of 3Com's wireless LAN system, AirConnect, last week.

"I don't think cable is going to be a big deal here," he said. "It's going to be ADSL."

Wilson believes external factors such as old un-rewireable buildings and the advent of "virtual teams" in business will see a consumer and professional shift away from cable connectivity and towards ADSL.

AirConnect allows as many as 63 individual PC users to access voice, video, data and software applications from a single wireless ethernet hub at one time.

The product currently transmits data at speeds of 11 megabits per second, Wilson said.

The AirConnect system uses 128-bit encryption together with an 8-digit pin code, amounting to what 3Com officials called an "onion-skin" approach to security.

3Com will target the AirConnect system at educational and medical facilities, as well as consulting firms requiring remote internet connectivity during busy periods such as the Olympics, Wilson said.

In fact, 3Com is currently in discussions with "one of the big five" consulting firms, he said.

3Com already lays claim to more than 20 paying AirConnect customers, three-quarters of which are schools, Wilson said.

Costs for AirConnect packages start from $2,700.

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Byron Kaye

PC World

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