Evangelists for local-area-network (LAN) wireless technology are no longer considering themselves as merely an alliance of industry leaders, but instead as an educational association. WLANA-formerly known as the Wireless LAN Alliance-now stands for Wireless LAN Association, in hopes that the name change will more accurately portray the organization's desired role as an educational resource for the telecommunications industry.
While the acronym remains the same, the name change is one of several steps being taken by the nine sponsoring member companies to keep pace with rapid developments in WLAN technology. The organization says increased global inquiries, coupled with surging growth among member companies, has prompted WLANA to beef up its online presence. "WLANA is adding content and links to convert the Website into a comprehensive portal site for the wireless networking industry," explains WLANA director Greg DiCillo. Building upon its news/information-based format, www.wlana.org will become a one-stop shop linking manufacturers, suppliers, research organizations, working groups, and users.
Current WLANA sponsoring companies, all of which manufacture wireless products, include 3Com Corp., BreezeCom Inc., Cisco Systems, Enterasys/Cabletron, Intersil Corp., Intermec Technologies, Nokia, No Wires Needed, and Symbol Technologies Inc. The organization, however, has recently formed an affiliate membership program that embraces those who don't manufacture wireless but have business interests in the industry. Recently, WLANA welcomed seven affiliates: Broad IP, Lantronix, Mind Matrix, the Philips Group, Sybergen Networks, WRQ, and Walt Disney Co.
"Their membership," says DiCillo, "illustrates the wide range of interest of end users, industry researchers, solutions specialists, and software vendors-all of whom have a stake in the industry."