Nortel Gets Serious About Wireless LAN, Unveils New Lineup


Nortel Networks is stepping out with its own family of enterprise wireless LAN products, company executives said last week.

The Nortel Networks WLAN 2200 line is slated to include an access point, mobile adapters and a security switch that sits between the wireless access points and wired network, said Anthony Bartolo, director of WLAN product marketing at the company, based here.

"WLANs are no longer the pilot or hobbyist-type deployments," Bartolo said. "Our [enterprise] customers are now supplying WLANs as a strategic part of their networks."


Nortel's WLAN Security Switch 2250 is at the heart of its new product lineup.

Plans call for a staggered release of the WLAN products, he said. The first offering, the WLAN Access Point 2220, is due to ship May 30 at a list price of $899, Bartolo said. The dual-mode access point can support roaming between 802.11a and 802.11b wireless standards, and a turbo mode can boost the device's throughput from 54 Mbps to 108 Mbps, he said.

Also planned is an 802.11a/b adapter, the Mobile Adapter 2201, which is slated to ship June 30 at a price of about $100.

The heart of the WLAN product family will be the WLAN Security Switch 2250, which is due to be released June 30 at a list price of $6,000 to $7,000. according to Bartolo.

"The switch is a device that sits in the middle of the network, managing and controlling security across the wireless network," he said. "It also provides advanced mobility functionality."

In addition, the WLAN Security Switch 2250 is designed to allow priority traffic to get the necessary bandwidth, provide protection against rogue and free agent access points, and enable roaming across the enterprise, Barcolo said.

With the proliferation of WLAN technology, customers have become increasingly concerned about security and interoperability, said Gary Berzack, CEO of Tribeca Technologies, a New York-based wireless solution provider.

"Anything that can raise the comfort level in the security of our enterprise clients is welcomed," Berzack said. "However, it's important to maintain real interoperability across many vendors, not just one or two. And that is the challenge."