3Com VARs Get New 802.11n Gear

According to 3Com, the portfolio is aimed at not only enterprises, but SMBs looking to deploy products around 11n. The new releases include Power over Ethernet (PoE) access points, routers and adapters to offer the increased range and speed of 802.11n.

"Businesspeople need to communicate and collaborate from anywhere in the workplace, as well as from remote locations, such as hot spots," said Jeff Gatto, vice president of 3Com small and medium business, in a statement. "Our new products make this easier than ever by providing users with wireless access that delivers the high performance and security that used to be possible only on a wired network. These new products are Wi-Fi-certified to interoperate with all existing Wi-Fi-certified products, which protects customers' capital investments."

The lineup features three new access points. First is the 3Com AP3950, a centrally controlled dual-radio PoE enterprise access point that offers 11n performance in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The new access point works with 3Com's existing Wireless Mobility System controllers and switches. In addition, users with 3Com maintenance service contracts receive a free 11n software update on each product covered. The AP3950 will be available in mid-July with a list price of $1,299.

The second new access point, the 3Com AirConnect 9550, is a dual-radio PoE access point for SMBs that offer simultaneous operation in 2.4GHz and 5GHz 11n bands. The AirConnect 9550 is expected to ship July 1 and list for $499.

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Third, the 3Com AirConnect 9150, is a single-radio stand-alone managed PoE access point that delivers 11n 2.4GHz connections. The AirConnect 9150 lists for $299 and will start shipping July 1.

Along with the trio of access points, 3Com rolled out new firewall routers. The 3Com ADSL Wireless 11n Firewall Router and 3Com Wireless 11n Cable/DSL Firewall Router each have four-port Ethernet LAN switches, enabling wired and wireless users to share one connection. They also feature built-in security such as VPN initiation and termination and are optimized for use in branch and remote offices, small businesses and by telecommuters. According to 3Com, wireless connectivity can be turned off with the touch of a button when it isn't needed, ultimately reducing energy and boosting security. Both firewall routers will be available in August with the 11n cable/DSL firewall router costing $109 and the 11n ADSL Firewall Router hitting the $149 price point.

Lastly, Marlborough, Mass-based 3Com this week unveiled the 3Com Wireless 11n PCI Adapter and USB Adapter. The 2.4GHz client cards enable devices without built-in support for 802.11n to connect to the network. 3Com said the cards are ideal for frequent travelers who want the connectivity they receive in hot spots and other locations to be consistent with the connectivity they receive in the office. The 11n USB and PCI Adapters list for $89 and $109, respectively.

3Com is also offering a host of new services around the products, including a WLAN site survey, wireless implementation and maintenance service contracts.

Peter Salvia, president of Alternative Solutions, a Sudbury, Mass.-based solution provider, said the portfolio is targeting the needs of his customers, especially the AirConnect AP9550 access point, which fits into his SMB customer budgets.

"Customers who are heavy users of video, for example, will be extremely pleased with the speed and bandwidth of 3Com's 11n products," he said in a statement. "Deployment will be easy for my technicians because the new products use the same intuitive user interface as previous 3Com wireless products, which eliminates any learning curve."