MobileAccess Extends Range

Wi-Fi wireless broadband

The Vienna, Va.-based indoor broadband wireless vendor's new MobileAccess-850 module can also serve as a stand-alone WLAN network solution. Shipping now for about $2,500, the MA-850 is an intelligent RF switching hub that enables a WLAN deployment by clustering access points in a wiring closet.

Interoperable with third-party 802.11 a/b/g access points, the MA-850 amplifies and filters the signals from the access points and then distributes those signals to passive, nonpowered broadband antennas mounted in ceilings. More access points can be connected to an existing infrastructure to add coverage, capacity or support new radio transmission standards.

This approach, said Cathy Zatloukal, CEO of Mobile- Access, "significantly reduces the maintenance and operational costs of large-scale Wi-Fi deployments when compared to traditional [access point]-intensive deployments."

Ken Niziol, senior solutions engineer at Norstan, a Minneapolis-based solution provider, agrees. Norstan, said Niziol, has been working with MobileAccess for a couple of years. The new Wi-Fi module is particularly useful when considering wireless networks for clients in the health-care, manufacturing and financial services markets, he said.

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"Most of our clients prefer to have all of their equipment in a locked room, secure and tucked away," said Niziol. "Combine it with the solution antennas and you can get away with one access point covering four times the area of a traditional access point."