Proxim Takes On 11n Wi-Fi


Proxim Wireless on Monday launched a pair of new 802.11n wireless access points the vendor claims boosts the speed -- more than 300 Mbps -- and cuts the cost of existing wireless LAN networks.

Proxim said the access points -- the single-radio ORiNOCO AP-800 and the dual-radio ORiNOCO AP-8000 -- can break the cost and complexity barrier of WLAN deployments. Geoffrey Smith, Proxim's vice president of marketing and business development, said the pair of 11n access points work within the 802.3af PoE power requirements in both single- and dual-radio configurations, eliminating the cost of additional wires and power injectors for each access point required by 802.3at compliant access points.

Additionally, the gear supports Dynamic Frequency Selection in all 5 GHz bands globally, reducing the constant worry of network interoperability and interference. The new access points also support all radio combinations for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. The support for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, a first for 11n access points, offers flexibility in both legacy wireless and greenfield deployments, Smith said.

The focal point of Proxim's new access points, however, is the speed. Smith said the single-radio access point has throughput rates of more than 170 Mbps, while the dual-radio can hit rates of 320 Mbps, which is roughly five times the throughput of existing WLANs, and a notch higher than existing 802.11n equipment.

The ORiNOCO 11n access points can also be swapped out and replaced using existing mounting hardware, easing upgrades. They are also backward compatible with existing 802.11 a/b/g and b/g clients, Smith said.

Smith noted that Proxim's solutions don't require WLAN controllers. For management, the ProximVision ES network management system can support the ORiNOCO AP-800 and AP-8000, which provides device configuration and a complete view of the wireless network. ProximVision ES installs on Windows XP, Windows 2003 and Windows Vista and supports SNMPv1, SNMPv2 and SNMPv3.

With ProximVision ES, users can automate the configuration process and can support a large number of access points.

According to Smith, the AP-8000 is available now for $1,099, while the AP-800 sells for $799. Smith said the cost to deploy one dual-radio AP-8000 is cheaper than the cost of deploying three Proxim AP-4000 a/b/g access points, which would be required to reach similar speeds to what the AP-8000 offers.