Direct2Data Claims One-Mile Coverage with Wi-Fi

By Eric Griffith

October 02, 2003

This Florida company says its methods for processing radio signals translates to enhanced throughput and range for its Horizons Wireless 802.11 products.

Direct2Data Technologies (D2D), the wireless division of Jacksonville, Florida's ParkerVision , this week went from being a radio frequency (RF) transceiver component maker to a full end-user product vendor by shipping the first in its Horizons Wireless line, a $99.95 802.11g/b-based CardBus PC Card (model HZ1500). The company is also planning on shipping an access point in the middle of the fourth quarter.

The Horizons' claim to fame? A range of up to one mile outdoors, and enhanced range even when working with non-D2D equipment.

"It's fundamentally based on our D2D technology for radio," says ParkerVision chairman and CEO Jeff Parker. "It uses an approach we've patented for better range, sampling, and it integrates better with different pieces of the puzzle around the transceiver."

The company shipped its "ultra-small" PV-2000TR RF transceiver for OEMs in November last year, claiming it had the industry's "highest integration" due to the transceiver's low component count.

The Horizon products will get the most benefit if used at both ends of the connection, but Parker says the RF improvements are significant with any Wi-Fi network. He cites beta tests where a large home in the southeast had an standard off-the-shelf access point that only covered about half of the location. A switch to the Horizon's PC Card let the home owner get a signal throughout the property and even down the street at a neighbor's house.

The PC Card and the upcoming access point use standard antennas. Parker says the Horizon products, while not necessarily enterprise class in the case of the access point, are targeting all markets.

"Our initial offering won't have all the AP bells and whistles someone wants in a large enterprise, but they'll find they can get by with fewer of our access points to cover the same area," says Parker. No pricing has been set yet on the access point.

The products are not in any distribution channels yet, and are only available direct from D2D at its Web site. For the time being, D2D is offering $20 off the PC Card for filling out an online survey.

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