In this first decade of the 21st century, the communications industry is at an interesting transition point. The 20th century could be called The Wireline Century, with millions of kilometers of copper wire, cable and glass fiber being installed in homes and office buildings, below and above streets, and under oceans. The 21st century is rapidly becoming The Wireless Century. The motivation for wireless technology is no longer voice, as it was in the last century, but data. This shift has been the impetus for a number of distinct technologies for delivering unique services to users.The first wireless technology that seems to be on the verge of market introduction is ultrawideband (UWB). Based on IEEE 802.15, UWB is designed for extremely high bandwidth (100M to 400M bit\/sec or higher) across a short distance (less than 32 feet, as mandated by the FCC) in a point-to-multipoint architecture. UWB is widely seen as the equivalent of wireline USB, wirelessly connecting printers, monitors, storage devices and other equipment to PCs or servers.The second wireless technology that is revolutionizing communications is IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi). This technology is rapidly becoming a replacement for wireline Ethernet. In addition to use in corporate buildings and homes, Wi-Fi is fast becoming the favored remote data-access method, called hot spots, and an alternative access methodology for voice. Today most new cell phones come with a multimode capability inclusive of 802.11. This lets users piggyback voice access onto an internal corporate network, roam between cellular mobile networks and newer VoIP carrier networks, or access the Internet through a hot spot. Another example is Skype software, which lets a PDA or laptop invoke a voice call to another Skype user over the Internet, using 802.11 as the access media. This effectively lets users make free, distance-insensitive voice calls.The third wireless technology in this revolution is IEEE 802.16 (WiMax). This standard has two forms: fixed and mobile. The fixed version is viewed as an alternative to carrier local loop wireline and cable access because it can deliver multi-megabit\/sec broadband connections in a point-to-multipoint mode over a radius of more than 10 miles to more than 100 simultaneous users. WiMax is fast developing into the wireless equivalent of T-1, cable or DSL access. The technology is perfect for aggregation of, and carrier network access to, 802.11 hot spots. The mobile version is another issue. A recent\u00a0announcement of an alliance between Alcatel and Intel to develop 802.16\u00a0mobile technology to compete with current\u00a0GSM\u00a0and future Universal Mobile Telecommunications System protocols indicates that cellular networks soon might be a relic of the 20th century. Currently, there is another wireless standard in this area called IEEE\u00a0802.20. Initially, IEEE 802.20 and 802.16 had different focuses, but have evolved with the introduction of the mobile version of 802.16 into direct competitors. Industry support seems to be shifting to 802.16 because of the availability of components and the advanced state of the standard.The final technology fueling the wireless revolution is an alternative to fiber. In October, the\u00a0FCC approved the use of the 71 to 76 GHz, 81 to 86 GHz and 92 to 95 GHz frequency bands. These bands will enable carrier-grade, point-to-point, two-way 2.48G bit\/sec communications transport for more than 1 mile. The next generation of this technology will deliver 10G bit\/sec at the same level of quality and distance. This new wireless technology has all the quality traits and cost points required for last-mile, high bandwidth fiber replacement.Wireless transport in the 21st century will dominate the delivery of voice, video and data for the shortest distance between your PC and a printer, to 10G bit\/sec building metropolitan-area access and all the broadband mobility points in between. The real "triple play" communications revolution will not be over wires, but through the air.