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Windows 7: New Enterprise-focused WAP

17 Nov 2008   #1
Bare Foot Kid
Microsoft MVP

W 7 64-bit Ultimate
New Enterprise-focused WAP

New enterprise-focused WAP promises 320Mbps throughput.

Wireless LAN equipment maker Proxim introduced today two new enterprise-focused 802.11n access points: a single-radio unit for $799 (AP800) and a dual-radio model for $1,099 (AP8000). Both models feature 3x3 multiple-in, multiple-out (MIMO) antenna arrays which can operate full tilt using the older, lower-voltage 802.3af power over Ethernet (PoE) standard.

Proxim is a bit late to the market with 802.11n for the enterprise, but marketing vice president Geoff Smith said that the firm was focused on so-called forklift-free upgrades: allowing existing wiring, PoE injectors, and other infrastructure to remain in place while access points were swapped out.

The new Proxim APs aren't unique in their individual characteristics, but combine into the lowest-priced offering with all the bullet points for enterprise on one list; the dual-band AP is $200 to $400 less than competitors' gear. Laboratory testing will have to bear out Proxim's claims, of course.

Both single- and dual-band APs can operate 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz, and work in any combination of 802.11a, b, g, and n modes. Some competitors configure their APs differently or charge more for a choice of both bands in both radios. Proxim supports all 23 of the standard-width US 5 GHz channels, which includes the 5.25 to 5.725GHz range; not all its competitors have that support. Additional channels allow denser deployments: with two radios in one AP each operating in wide-channel 802.11n 5 GHz mode, 4 normal-width channels would be occupied. (This range comprises two bands, UNII-2 and UNII-2 Extended, which require radar sensing and avoidance; few consumer and many enterprise APs haven't yet met or attempted to meet the certification requirement. Newer devices may offer as few as 8 channels in 5 GHz, while grandfathered equipment may support 12 channels.)

Because Proxim, like several competitors, doesn't require a centralized controller, the company aimed to make sure its new APs worked with the baseline PoE standard without having to drop signal power: "We designed it so we didn't have to make any of those tradeoffs," Proxim's Smith said. Smith said companies with existing Proxim APs and mounts would simply untwist the older AP, unplug its PoE Ethernet cable, plug in a new AP800 or AP8000, and rotate it to lock it in place.

Read more at the source.

Later Ted

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