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NEWS RELEASE 13th March 2000

"IEEE Creates Coexistence Task Group and Study Group to Develop High Speed, Wireless Personal Area Networks."

-- Committees to address performance and coexistence issues related to short-range wireless networks

Bob Heile, (802.15 Chair), +1-781-466-2057 Voice,
Ian Gifford, (802.15 Vice-Chair), +1 978 442 4650 Voice,
Jim Carlo, (802 Chair), +1 972 480 2524 Voice,
Markus Plessel, (Standards Mktg. Admin.), +1 732 562 3989 Voice,
For Release: Immediate
(Piscataway NJ 13 March) The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Project 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee, Chaired by Jim Carlo announced that the 802.15 Working Group on Wireless Personal Area Networks has initiated work in two new areas. One area is to develop a class of standard, called a Recommended Practice, to improve coexistence with other WLAN systems operating in the same band. The other is to initiate activity, which will lead to the development of a standard for a high data rate, low-cost Wireless Personal Area Networks (WPANs).
The relatively new IEEE 802.15 Working Group is currently engaged in developing a 1 Mbps standard based on the work of the Bluetooth(tm) SIG (Special Interest Group). It is now beginning development of a project definition for a consumer-priced, 20 Mbps or faster High Rate WPAN that can be widely deployed for short-range information transfer, particularly multimedia and digital imaging. The initiative began with a proposal from Cisco, Eastman Kodak, and Motorola to the working Group at the November, 1999 Plenary Meeting of 802.
A wireless personal area network, or WPAN, is a low-cost networking scheme that enables computing devices such as PCs, laptop computers, printers and personal digital assistants (PDAs) to wirelessly communicate with each other over short distances.
"The IEEE's goal is to provide the foundation for a broad range of interoperable consumer devices by establishing universally-adopted standards and Recommend Practices for wireless digital communication anywhere and anytime., said Bob Heile, Chair of the 802.15 Working Group. "The creation of a wireless personal area network protocol is a critical part of this approach. These two additional projects will provide for continued product innovation in this rapidly growing area."
The IEEE 802.15 Working Group is comprised of several active sub groups. The first major effort, to standardize a low cost, medium data rate WPAN solution was assigned to Task Group 1 (TG1) last summer. TG1 is currently working closely with the BluetoothÔ SIG to complete this task. The anticipated draft standard, 802.15.1, will be a fully interoperable derivative of the Bluetooth specification.
Based upon strong industry support of TG1 and interest in increasing both the robustness of wireless solutions and data rates, two additional groups have been formed.
Coexistence Task Group
A major concern shared by many in the industry is whether various wireless devices based on several standards or specifications can peacefully coexist within the same 2.4 GHz band. The 802.15 Coexistence Task Group (TG2) will address the issue of coexistence between WPANs and other wireless devices, such as the IEEE 802.11 Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs). IEEE 802.11 is a wireless extension to Ethernet that is expected to be widely deployed in office and home environments over the next few years.
"The potential for interference between different wireless units - using incompatible protocols such as 802.11b and 802.15.1 - operating in close proximity and in the same frequency spectrum needs to be investigated and quantified", said Steve Shellhammer, Chair of the 802.15 Coexistence Task Group (TG2). "While it's critical that we explore different technologies that can meet requirements such as high performance and low-cost, it is necessary to ensure that these devices will be able to coexist in the same location."
The Coexistence Task Group was recently formed and has established as its goals to first fully characterize and understand the effects of mutual interference and then subsequently to produce a Recommended Practice for WPAN devices operating in a WLAN environment. An extended vision is to assist standards development in minimizing the potential for interference among different radio systems in the unlicensed bands.
The 802.15 High Rate Study Group
The 802.15 High Rate Study Group is addressing the technical merits and market requirements for a low cost, high data rate WPAN. They have developed a Project Authorization Request (PAR) so that a new Task Group within 802.15 can begin work on a draft standard.
Initial meetings of the 802.15 Working Group in July 1999 outlined a data rate of 1 Mbps for WPANs. The new High Rate Study Group, however, will seek to provide high speed physical (PHY) and medium access control (MAC) layers to support multimedia data types and data rates of 20 Mbps or more. Compatibility with other 802.15 standards is a major goal of this activity. According to Jim Allen, who co-chairs the new group within 802.15, "We're doing this because current standards and data rates do not meet the projected needs of multimedia and digital imaging in consumer class products like cameras. Speed, battery life and ultra low cost are the key requirements rather than range."
Additional Information
For more information contact Bob Heile, Chair of 802.15, at mailto:bheile@bbn.comor Ian Gifford, Vice Chair of 802.15 and Chair of Task Group 1, at mailto:giffordi@ieee.orgor view the Web page at:
For more information about the recently published IEEE 802 standards or any of the other IEEE standards call +1 800 678 IEEE (4333), outside of the USA and Canada: call +1 908 981 1393. See also the WEB page at
IEEE 802.15 Working Group is a standards working group on wireless personal area networks The 802.15 Working Group is part of the IEEE 802 LMSC (LAN MAN Standards Committee) responsible for Ethernet, Token Ring, Wireless and Bridging Standards. The IEEE 802 LMSC is sponsored by the IEEE Computer Society and submits standards through the IEEE Standards Association.
The IEEE Computer Society is the oldest and largest association of computer professionals in the world. It offers its 100,000 members comprehensive program of publications, meetings, and technical and educational activities, encouraging an active exchange of information, ideas, and innovation. The society is the world's leading publisher of technical material in the computing field. No other professional or commercial organization comes close to matching the Computer Society in terms of the quality, quantity, or diversity of its publications. Headquartered in Washington, DC, the society serves its members from offices in Los Alamitos, California, USA; Tokyo, Japan; and Brussels, Belgium. The society is the largest technical society within the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (IEEE).

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