3Com Supports PoE Technology In New WLAN Access Point

networking LAN access point

The vendor's new OfficeConnect Wireless 108-Mbps 11g access point represents "the completion of our convergence story for small businesses," said Alan Miano, product manager at 3Com, Marlborough, Mass.

3Com last month launched the Baseline Switch 2226-PWR Plus, an SMB-focused switch that supports the IEEE's 802.3af PoE standard. The company began shipping its NBX V3000 IP telephony platform for SMBs in November.

The vendor will continue to offer its previously available OfficeConnect 11g access point as a basic offering.

The new access point is based on a smaller form factor and adds features such as PoE, SuperG Turbo performance enhancement, advanced encryption services, rogue access point detection, and support for up to four virtual LANs and multiple service set identifiers.

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The latter feature enables support for 802.11b/g devices that utilize older security standards without compromising performance for devices that run new standards, Miano said.

"You don't have to dumb down the entire network just to support a few legacy devices," he said.

Another new featurewireless distribution systemsenables access points to act as wireless bridges or repeaters, which can ease installation, said Glenn Conley, president and CEO of Metropark Communications, a solution provider based in St. Louis.

"Sometimes you have to feed wireless to a common area, such as a convention area or a hotel lobby, where there's no way to string CAT-5 cable to the center of the area. With this [technology] we can put one access point on the edge and bridge it to another," Conley said.

Conley also said sales of wireless technology to SMB customers are "booming."

"We were predicting an uptick last year and got [customer] interest, but not a lot of purchases. Now those interests are turning into purchases," he said.

The OfficeConnect Wireless 108-Mbps 11g access point supports up to 64 users and is available now for $199.