US Robotics launches 125Mbps Wi-Fi update

US Robotics has updated its 802.11g hardware to allow wireless connectivity up to 125 megabits per second

Network hardware manufacturer US Robotics launched a firmware upgrade at the WLAN show in London on Tuesday that boosts the performance of its 802.11g wireless products to 125Mbps.

The 54Mbps 802.11g standard, which was ratified last year, has already been boosted to around 108Mbps by the majority of wireless hardware manufacturers but USR is one of the first to further increase this speed. In January, Broadcom updated to 125Mbps, and manufacturers such as Buffalo Technology, Belkin, and Linksys are expected to release equivalent updates in the very near future.

Peter Blampied, European director of sales and operations at US Robotics, said in a statement that the company will offer a free firmware and driver upgrade to existing 802.11g customers from its Web site: "Customers purchasing US Robotics wireless solutions today should be assured that they are buying 125Mbps-capable products,” he said.

Earlier this year, Synergy Research Group reported that revenue for wireless networking gear reached $2.5bn in 2003, up about 40 percent on the previous year.

Market-research firm Allied Business Intelligence said that next year the market will change again as shipments of dual-band 802.11a/g networking products surpass those of 802.11g equipment, driven largely by multimedia applications. By 2009, the company said, 95 million Wi-Fi networking equipment devices will be shipped.

The 802.11g wireless standard is a follow-on to 802.11b, running at a higher speed and offering greater security. The two specifications, which are interoperable, function on the 2.4GHz frequency, along with microwave ovens and Bluetooth products. The 802.11a standard operates on the 5GHz spectrum, reducing interference problems; it is interoperable with the "g" specification but not with "b."

CNET's Dinesh C. Sharma contributed to this report.