Proxim WLAN Switch To Support Voice, Data

The Proxim ORiNOCO Switching System supports voice traffic and delivers features such as intelligent "no-delay" roaming, load-balancing and seamless handover across Wi-Fi and cellular networks, said Kevin Duffy, senior vice president of product development and management at Proxim, Sunnyvale, Calif.

"We are sticking a stake in the ground against all of these [WLAN switch] start-up companies and saying, 'That's not what a wireless switch is. This is what a wireless switch is,' " Duffy said. "It's about voice and data and laying the groundwork for cellular/Wi-Fi convergence."


The ORiNOCO AP-4000 has 2.4GHz/5GHz rogue access-point detection.

It's a plus that WLAN infrastructure vendors such as Proxim focus on wireless solutions that place intelligence back into the switch area, said Dan Elliott, vice president of mobile business solutions at CompuCom, a Dallas solution provider. Although the voice capabilities that Proxim is offering with its new switch are similar to those from switch vendors such as Aruba Wireless Networks and Airespace, it remains to be seen how that market will play out, he added.

Elliott also noted that WLAN vendors in general must do a better job with security and rogue access-point detection. "While most of these products can do some limited detection, nobody has really combined that into one broader offering,at least [not] one that I've seen," he said.

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Duffy said three switches are planned for release this year: a 16-port model due out at the beginning of the second quarter, and eight-port and 24-port models slated for the fourth quarter. Pricing hadn't been set at press time.

Proxim also plans to unveil this week the ORiNOCO AP-4000 802.11a/b/g access point, priced at $899, which has 2.4GHz and 5GHz rogue access-point detection and

Wi-Fi Protected Access that can be upgraded to meet emerging security standards.