Latest Strix WLAN: No Wires Attached

Access/One Network competitively priced

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Fledgling WLAN vendor Strix Systems is developing a channel program and recruiting solution providers to sell its compact, competitively priced stackable WLAN system into midsize and enterprise markets.

Unlike traditional WLAN solutions, which require wired Ethernet at every access point, the Strix Access/One Network uses a wireless Ethernet backhaul for wire-free connections. The Access/One Network, made up of a combination of modules, measures 3 inches by 5 inches and is roughly the size of a PDA.

Strix's Access/One Network will be sold only through the channel, says Bob Jordan.

Angie Wong, CEO of Network Designs Integration Services, Fremont, Calif., called the Strix system a real market differentiator. The company's geographically focused channel program will prevent oversaturation, she said.

"This is a different approach, which is nice," Wong said. "They also have some very interesting products, very modular-based, and the scalability and ugradability is awesome."

Product pricing ranges from $850 to $1,300, depending upon the module mix, which is about 25 percent below a comparable Cisco Aironet solution, said Bob Jordan, co-founder and vice president of marketing for privately held Strix, Westlake Village, Calif.

For instance, a Strix Access/One base module with one Ethernet port and 802.11a radio is $900, and the list price for a comparable Cisco Aironet 1200 802.11a Access Point and Ethernet cable is $1,249.

The Strix network also automatically configures itself, adapting to changes without intervention, and serves all wireless devices using 802.11 a/b/g/, Bluetooth and RF technologies simultaneously.

"The key here is just like in the wired network, where we put in Ethernet, Token Ring, [Fiber Distributed Data Interface]," Jordan said. "It's all under the same network management and security umbrella, so it's a system."

Strix has a channel-only sales model and expects to roll out its Strix Channel/One Partner Program in several weeks, Jordan said, adding that the vendor is also talking with midtier distributors.

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