Gateway Unveils Consumer Wi-Fi Line

By Eric Griffith

September 04, 2003

The PC maker is releasing a bargain-priced line of 802.11g and 11b products include two routers, two PC Cards, and desktop USB and PCI units... all under $100 each.

Today, Gateway of Poway, Calif., announced a new line of Wi-Fi products targeting home PC connectivity.

John Schindler, manager of connectivity products at Gateway, says the technology of Wi-Fi has matured enough and is easy enough now for consumers to master.

The company announced six new products in all, each priced under $99, consisting of both 802.11g (54Mbps) and 802.11b (11Mbps) products.

On the 11g side are:

  • The $99 Gateway Wireless-G Router is a typical 4-port 10/100 switch with broadband routing, compatible with 802.11g/b via dual-dipole antennas. The router comes with content filtering and th usual gamut of features.
  • Gateway's Wireless-G PC Card is a CardBus unit going for $59.99.
  • Desktop systems can use the internal $69.99 Wireless-G PCI Card. No 11g USB option yet, but Schindler expects one in October. The hold up is support for USB 2.0 to get the full 54Mbps speed.
On the 802.11b side, the company has a $69.99 Wireless-B Router with the same essential functions as the 11g version, plus a 16-bit PC Card ($49.99) and USB Adapter ($59.99).

The products use chipsets from Broadcom (all the 11g products), Intersil (the 11b clients) and Marvell (the 11b router). Schindler says, "We tried to keep the price difference between G and B... we want B to be there for a certain price point, and Marvell allows us to do that on the router."

Gateway will sell these products at these prices on its Web site , via phone, and in Gateway stores, but Schindler says there is currently a 10% discount on Web orders.

Gateway expects to expand the line throughout the year, eventually providing solutions for all its customers, home to enterprise, with over 50 Gateway-branded Wi-Fi products in 15 categories. For example, Schindler says to expect "some cool new form factors [in desktops] with wireless."

While theses are Gateway's first standalone Wi-Fi products, the company has provided Wi-Fi in the form of Centrino-based notebooks, laptops that could get Broadcom-based 802.11g upgrades, and the wireless version of its Connected DVD Player. Gateway will provide dual-band 802.11a/g options in laptops sometime in the future.



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