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Linksys releases dual-band Wi-Fi card

The wireless networking company releases a PC card for notebooks that supports two nascent Wi-Fi standards, 802.11a and 802.11g.

Wireless networking company Linksys on Wednesday released a PC card that supports two nascent Wi-Fi standards.

Linksys's Wireless Dual Band A+G Wireless PC Card for notebook computers supports not only 802.11b--the prevailing standard for wireless networking--but its newer cousins 802.11a, which sacrifices bandwidth for range, and 802.11g, which is supposed to be backward-compatible with 802.11b.

The company, based in Irvine, Calif., is not alone in producing an 802.11a/g-compatible card. Hardware maker NetGear is also shipping dual-band 802.11a/g PC cards for $129, with dual-band 802.11a/g access points and routers to follow next quarter.

Linksys announced some future plans of its own, saying this month it would release a wireless A+G router, access point and PCI adapter for desktop computers.

The new PC cards carry a $99 price tag.

In a statement, Linksys compared its March contributions with the introduction of the AM/FM radio.

"With its universal dual-band A+G solutions, Linksys eliminates once and for all any potential confusion or incompatibilities caused by having three separate wireless standards," the company said in a release. "Like the world's first AM/FM radio, the customer will be able to buy a single device for wireless networking that guarantees universal IEEE standard compatibility."