The long-touted 54Mbps wireless Local Area Networks (LANs) conforming to the 802.11a (Wi-Fi) standard are emerging.

Intel has announced an 802.11a product, aimed at small- and medium-sized businesses. It plans to ship it in November. Intel's Pro/Wireless 5000 LAN costs $449 for the access point, and $179 per client-adaptor.

802.11a is the successor to the WI-Fi standard used by Apple in its AirPort technologies. The move to Wi-Fi by Intel adds credibility to Apple's decision to use Wi-Fi, and confirms Apple's reputation on the cutting edge of technology.

Glenn Cox, product manager for 802.11a products in Intel's Mobile Communications Division said: "For indoor distances of up to 250 feet, the throughput and data rate of the Intel 802.11a LAN is two to five times better than Intel's 802.11b offering. This is without having to run more 802.11a access points than 802.11b access points to cover the same range radius."

Intel notes that some of the enhanced management and security features found in its 802.11b products for large enterprises are missing from the 802.11a product, which is one reason for the moderate pricing.