OTC Telecom Targets Networking For Notebooks

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- OTC Telecom will kick off its push into the retail market in June with two wireless home-networking products geared for notebook computer owners.

OTC Telecom, which makes similar products for the business market, will have the AirEZY 2400 ready to ship next month. The paperback-book-size device can be used with either a notebook computer or PC, but is primarily intended to allow a notebook to quickly become integrated into an existing Ethernet home network, said sales and marketing director Steve Viegas.

The 2400 plugs into a computer's Ethernet card and is ready for use without requiring the end user to install additional software. The device has an 11-Mbps data transfer rate and an effective range of 300 to 500 feet. It is expected to carry a $350 street price.

The second product, which has not been named, is a PCMCIA version that will carry a $180 street price and is exclusively for use on notebook computers.

The 2400 also can be used to instantly create a home network, Viegas said, but the consumer would have to buy one unit per computer in the network.

While this is an efficient alternative to running telephone or coaxial wire, it is costly, he admitted. Because of the cost, OTC does not see wireless networking taking off in the consumer sector for about two years, when the cost to connect a computer is down to about $50.

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