Will wireless be the way of the world? Says Rich Redelfs, president and CEO of 802.11 chipmaker Atheros Communications Inc.: "In some environments, you can actually eliminate the wires. Now this is an area that makes the IT guys really nervous. They say, 'There's no way I'm going to eliminate wires. This is a parallel network, my job's on the line, people have to have Ethernet at their desks.'" Redelfs' response: There's just too much money to be saved at small offices and remote offices. And that, he believes, points the way toward the savings potential in all-wireless installations. To warrant such widespread use, he concedes, "the network has to be super-reliable, and the confidence in wireless is not there yet. But I'm confident we can make it as reliable as wired."
However, Redelfs says, the all-wireless company is a ways down the road. "We can't just expect it," he says. "We have to earn it."