News Release Details




Ultima3 Ranks First for Range, Advanced Features and Functionality

CALGARY, Canada - November 26, 2002 - Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE:WIN), a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, announced today that its Ultima3 RD product outperformed competing products in various categories of a 5 GHz product comparison conducted by Network Computing magazine. The Ultima3 RD (Rapid Deployment) was ranked first for range, advanced features and functionality, and monitoring and management capabilities were the best of any system tested.

"We are very pleased with the comparative performance of our Ultima3 RD product against five competing products in the Network Computing point-to-point Ethernet bridge tests. More than 100% year-over-year sales growth is evidence that this product hits the sweet spot for price, throughput and functionality," said Dr. Sayed-Amr El-Hamamsy, Chief Operating Officer, Wi-LAN Inc. "It is amazing that, in a point-to-point wireless product comparison, a product with built-in complex functionality suitable for large commercial point-to-multipoint networks can rank so well in comparison to products limited only to point-to-point applications. Our only disappointment was that certain competitors, some of whom claim high performance products utilizing OFDM technology, declined the invitation to submit their products for comparison."

The Network Computing comparison of 5.x GHz point-to-point Ethernet bridges made the following assertions (Network Computing statements in quotes):

  • "If product A offers twice the performance of product B but at half the range and double the price, does that make product A better? The answer, of course, depends on your needs." A competing product narrowly edged out Wi-LAN's Ultima3 as the "Editor's Choice". The Editor's Choice product had higher throughput, but Wi-LAN'S product had superior functionality and much longer range.

  • The 15-mile range of the Ultima3 RD was six times the range of the Editor's Choice product, and the Ultima3 has a significantly lower list price. Another variant of the Ultima3, the ER (Extended Range), has three times the range of the Ultima3 RD (up to 47 miles) with the same throughput and similar pricing.

  • The Ultima3 was the only product tested that featured multipoint support. From a single access point, the Ultima3 MP (Multi-Point) solution provides broadband coverage of up to 10 miles for up to 1,000 more customers.

  • "Wi-LAN's product provides strong security capabilities, including proprietary modulation, data-scrambling and data-formatting algorithms. An optional 20-byte hard-coded password / shared-key can be configured to encode and decode data streams. System status for both the local and remote systems can be viewed via the console or Web interfaces, and SNMP support is included. ... Wi-LAN is also the only vendor to provide transparent VLAN [tagging] and IP filtering support."

  •     * "The bridges can look at the data from a VLAN trunk link and pick which VLAN's should transmit data across the wireless link."

        * "Some organizations will find the IP address filtering capabilities useful as a mechanism for enhancing access to specific hosts and/or subnets from the other end of a wireless link. Not only were we able to filter on specific IP addresses, the product made it easy to filter on ranges of IP addresses. MAC (Media Access Control) filtering is also supported."

  • "The [Ultima3]'s management and monitoring capabilities were the best of any system we tested. Wi-LAN offers a range of configuration techniques, including a serial console, telnet and an embedded Web server." Ultima3 also offers tiered service management through CIR/MBR (Committed Information Rate / Maximum Burst Rate).

  • "The [Ultima3] was the only product we tested which includes automatic power adjustment, which lets you optimize distance and minimize interference by automatically adapting to the least amount of power required for operation at a given distance. This feature would be helpful if you were deploying multiple systems in a multipoint star topology." Dynamic power control improves performance by minimizing interference, allowing customers to utilize spectrum effectively and maximize frequency reuse.

  • Ultima3 is certified for use in all major telecommunications markets worldwide, having received certification from the USA Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the State Regulatory Radio Commission (SRRC) of the Peoples' Republic of China, Industry Canada (IC), and having received the CE Mark indicating the product conforms to the standards of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The Ultima3 series includes Rapid Deployment (RD) and Extended Range (ER) products for point-to point applications, and Multi-Point (MP) products for point-to-multipoint applications. As with all Wi-LAN products, the Ultima3 is supported by Wi-LAN applications engineers, with many years of experience with Wi-LAN products in network design, troubleshooting, component selection and customer training.

    Built on eight years of field-proven technology and experience, the 5.8 GHz Ultima3 series is designed to meet the needs of license-exempt wireless Internet service providers and enterprises looking to build or extend broadband communications infrastructures. The Ultima3 series can be configured with various antennas, depending on customer requirements, making it more flexible and scalable. The single unit design eliminates the need for expensive accessories and coaxial cable, is easier and less expensive to install, can be mounted indoors or outdoors without the need for additional climate control, and enables longer-range coverage due to reduced line and connector losses.

    Ultima3 series products can be used for broadband access applications alone or in combination with wired alternatives. When paired with Wi-LAN's TEmux T1/E1 multiplexer, Ultima3 point-to-point products can also be used for transmission of up to 30 voice channels to provide a robust, reliable and cost-effective alternative to traditional leased T1 or E1 lines. Using a cellular-based frequency reuse point-to-multipoint network design linked by point-to-point units, Wi-LAN's Ultima3 solution can easily serve a large customer base. Coverage cells can be added and expanded quickly and cost effectively. By starting small and expanding, network operators experience early profits, and enterprises realize incremental cost savings. Available in the 5.8 GHz license-exempt bands, the Ultima3 is suitable for deployment in most countries worldwide.

    The current hardware is capable of supporting several generations of enhancement to the system software. Features such as video services and additional network management features are being made available, as the market requires, via over-the-air software upgrades. Also, future generations of products will be compatible with existing products.

    The AWE (Advanced Wireless Ethernet bridge) Product Series, which includes the Ultima3 series as well as the AWE 45-24 and AWE 120-24, is offered in the license-exempt 2.4 GHz and 5.8 GHz bands. The AWE Series meets the requirements of service providers and enterprises without the need to obtain spectrum licenses. The 5.8 GHz Ultima3 series and the 2.4 GHz AWE 120-24 products feature Wi-LAN's patented MC-DSSS technology, which is designed to support constant service over distance through increased data rates, enhanced reliability and cost-effective performance. MC-DSSS technology also improves security due to built-in data scrambling that prevents unwanted eavesdropping. Wi-LAN's advanced wireless Ethernet bridges are designed to be easy to use, install and manage. Enhanced scalability allows a service provider to add new customers easily.

    The MC-DSSS Advantage
    Wi-LAN's patented Multi-code Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum technology (MC-DSSS) is the world's most spectrally efficient spread spectrum radio technology, and is the technology that makes it possible to multiply the carrying capacity of traditional spread spectrum systems by as much as ten times. Wi-LAN believes that MC-DSSS is the foundation for third generation (3G) mobile radio networks, including cellular phones, and Wi-LAN has filed an intellectual property statement with the International Telecommunications Union offering to make MC-DSSS available for licensing on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.

    MC-DSSS is a spectrally efficient spread spectrum modulation technique that assigns up to N DSSS codes to a single user, where N is the number of chips per DSSS code. These N DSSS codes are all orthogonal. In other words, MC-DSSS enables multiple CDMA codes to be assigned to a single user in a CDMA network, thus increasing throughput. Conventional systems can only assign N codes to a single user by assigning N transceivers to that user, which greatly increases system costs. In MC-DSSS implementation, the information on all codes can be decoded in a single transformation.

    Wi-LAN Customer Support
    As part of the Wi-LAN turnkey wireless network solution, the company provides engineering services to help customers and business partners plan and install wireless networks. From preliminary engineering service, such as system design and maintenance planning, to consulting and on-site service and training, Wi-LAN offers a full range of engineering services to help customers get the most from their wireless network equipment.

    About Wi-LAN Inc.
    Wi-LAN is a global provider of broadband wireless communications products and technologies, specializing in products for Wireless Metropolitan Area Networks (WMAN) supporting both broadband data and voice. Wi-LAN's broadband wireless access products are known worldwide for their high quality and industry-leading technology. Wi-LAN believes its W-OFDM patent is necessary for the implementation of devices using the IEEE 802.11a, IEEE 802.11g or ETSI BRAN HiperLAN/2 standards as well as the current drafts of the IEEE802.16a and ETSI BRAN HiperMAN proposed standards. Wi-LAN licenses its W-OFDM technology and has executed non-exclusive W-OFDM license agreements with semiconductor companies. Wi-LAN is the Chair Company of the OFDM Forum ( Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found at

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