Intel examines wireless card compliance claim

Intel has launched an investigation into claims it is selling wireless local area network (LAN) cards in Australia that may not comply with local standards, hampering notebook access to 802.11b/g networks.

Intel has launched an investigation into claims it is selling wireless local area network (LAN) cards in Australia that may not comply with local standards, hampering notebook access to 802.11b/g networks.

The vendor is examining whether it has incorrectly certified the United States version of its PRO/Wireless 2915ABG chip-set for the Australian market rather than the compliant European Union version.

The US uses 11 channels for 802.11b/g transmission, while the EU standard with which Australia is aligned uses 13 -- meaning notebooks with a non-compliant chip-set face difficulties if the access point roams to channels 12 to 13.

An Intel spokesperson told ZDNet Australia that the vendor was tackling the claim: "We treat all potential product issues seriously and are currently investigating this matter. We will revert with further information once it is available".

The spokesperson said products using the chip-set were first shipped in Australia in March 2003.

Industry sources have told ZDNet Australia Intel has decided against making the labelling and firmware changes necessary to make the current cards compliant with Australian standards.

To fix the cards through a flash upgrade would mean the hardware would no longer meet the specifications detailed in their labelling, consequently further breaching Australian regulations, the source said.

Intel is instead believed to be making the necessary changes in its next generation of wireless cards, due for shipment from March next year, they said.

A spokesperson for manufacturer Hewlett Packard, which sells notebooks including the Intel chipset, refused to comment on the matter. He said "HP does not pass comment on behalf of Intel or any other partner… HP complies with all laws and regulations for countries we do business in, including Australia".

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