Netgear is releasing a new wireless AP, the RangeMax 240, which it claims can reach speeds of up to 240 Mbps--faster than the 100 Mbps of wired networks (improvements in Ethernet wired networks, though, can push speeds up to 1 Gbps and faster). The actual speeds of the new AP will likely be slower, especially as more devices are added to the network. Speeds of 100 Mbps, or even a bit slower, would be suitable for streaming music and video and HDTV. Note that in order to achieve these high speeds, all the devices in the WLAN must use the RangeMax 240 system.
The RangeMax kit uses MIMO technology, relying on several aerials on the base station to direct beams to the particular client with each beam, if need be, using different frequencies. The encoding involved in the spatial multiplexing and adaptive channel expansion are proprietary to Netgear, so the real speed enhancement would be achieved only with an all-Netgear WLAN. It is not clear that the Netgear kit will be compatible with the 802.11n standard once it is ratified.
For more about the RangeMax 240:
- see this report