Monday, May 18, 2009

NEC Employs Atheros in DoCoMo Handset with AP Tethering Mode

Atheros Communications' AP Mode technology has been incorporated into NEC's new dual-mode handset (N-06A), which is now offered by NTT DOCOMO to its FOMA customers.

This new smartphone is the first on the market that uses Atheros AP Mode technology to allow users to connect their Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and devices to the Internet without an access point (AP) present. Atheros notes that this technology significantly expands the functionality of the handset, enabling a wide array of new applications for mobile users.

AP Mode, an optional feature of the Atheros AR6002 Radio-on-Chip for Mobile (ROCm) WLAN solution, allows handsets to operate in infrastructure mode, the primary wireless connectivity framework employed in access points, routers, laptops and other WLAN devices. Infrastructure mode offers significant advantages such as greater ease of use and lower power consumption over ad-hoc mode, a legacy approach to device connectivity. In infrastructure mode, the handset behaves like a typical AP, providing seamless connectivity to any WLAN-enabled client device without user intervention, whereas ad-hoc requires manual configuration of devices on both ends of the link every time a connection is created. With Atheros' AP Mode, client devices function in sleep mode when not actively transmitting or receiving data packets, resulting in superior power efficiency and extended battery life.

Atheros AP Mode is capable of concurrently connecting as many as eight Wi-Fi enabled devices in an open network environment, or up to six devices in a secured network. The clients connect to the mobile handset in AP Mode in the same way they would to a WLAN AP or router. Atheros AP Mode serves handsets and has also been introduced in new products such as wireless travel modems.


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