Sleek, Sexy 802.11 Access Points

By Matthew Peretz

May 06, 2002

Nokia wants hotspot owners to want their access points. So they made them as discrete and designable as possible.

Nokia today introduced its AO36 Wireless LAN Access Point (AP), specifically designed to be aesthetically customized to the needs of public hotspot providers, such as airports, hotels, convention centers, corporate premises, and any other location where there is a need for flexibility in the visual design of the product.

"The owners of public places are often understandably reluctant to allow unsightly telecom infrastructure to be installed on their premises," says Matti Mikkola, senior industrial designer, Nokia Networks. "That's why we went directly to them when designing the Nokia A036 Wireless LAN Access Point. We wanted a clear idea of what property owners require in such equipment. We interviewed the staff of airports, hotels, shopping malls and conference centers, and the results were very informative. We found their major requirement was a discreet visual design. This direct feedback helped us to design an access point that property owners will be more than happy to have located on their sites."

The AP has tamper-proof covers that can be painted to match its surrounding decor. The unit's has internally concealed antennas, quick mounting mechanisms, and power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support. Nokia claims that this feature-set translates into a 25 percent savings in deployment costs.

The Nokia AO36 Wireless LAN AP is an 802.11b device which can be remotely software-upgraded to the 802.1X, 802.11i/TKIP, and 802.11f IEEE standards from the Nokia Network Management system, as those standards are approved. The AO36 supports the Extensible Authentication Protocol (EAP) as well.

The Nokia Network Management system enables upgrades to the unit to support Nokia Operator WLAN system features, as well as to manage faults, alarms, performance, security, and configuration with minimal site visits.

The product is expected to be available in volume through Nokia and IBM sales channels in June.



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