Long Reach Ethernet may have a short life

Analysts have warned users considering implementing Long Reach Ethernet (LRE) technology to consider other options.

Analysts have warned users considering implementing Long Reach Ethernet (LRE) technology to consider other options.

LRE was recently espoused as one of networking's "next big things" by Cisco's UK business development director Phil Smith in an interview with Computer Weekly, and Cisco has made great play of how it could be used to upgrade networks without ripping out existing infrastructure.

However, Iain Stevenson, Ovum's research director for next generation networks, said, "It is a good idea and the suppliers should be applauded, but it is somewhat self-limiting. There are other solutions out there which may prove better - such as Bluetooth or 802.11b. Why would anyone with a wireless card on their lap-top want to plug into a data connection in their hotel room?"

Neil Rickard, an analyst at Gartner, said, "It will run on anything, which is good, but its bandwidth is limited. Its top figure of 15mbps is for squeaky clean copper but it can be as low as 5mbps, which is possibly a problem in business premises. It is a good solution for some but it may prove more cost-effective to rewire or go for a wireless solution in many cases."

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