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Intel, Cisco fine-tune wireless networking

The companies launch joint-development project aimed at improving quality of voice communication via wireless connections to the Net.

Intel and Cisco Systems are linking their plans to improve the reliability of wireless computer networks and the quality of Internet voice communication.

The chipmaker and the networking giant are adding new features to their respective mobile computing systems that they are calling the Business Class Wireless Suite, the companies said on Tuesday during the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco. They plan to include the new programs in Cisco's Unified Wireless Architecture and Intel's Centrino systems by March, they said.

Cisco and Intel are designing the software to help laptops powered by Intel's chips to find wireless access points for more reliable roaming within a network, the companies said. The product will also feature a program that aims to improve the clarity and reliability of voice communication via an Internet-connected laptop. It uses technology known as voice over Internet Protocol, or VoIP.

The companies also agreed to cooperate on efforts to improve the security of wireless networks. Intel said it would join Cisco's Network Admission Control program, designed to identify and prevent security threats. Likewise, Cisco agreed to join Intel's Active Management Technology program, which is designed to provide corporate IT organizations with remote troubleshooting tools.

Also on Tuesday, Avaya said it is working with Intel to address the quality of Internet-based calls and optimizing its software-based "softphone" for notebook PCs that use Centrino technology.