Fixed Wireless Product Adds Wi-Fi

By Eric Griffith

May 31, 2002

Airspan Networks is integrating 802.11b access point technology into its series of subscriber terminal products to create instant hotspots for users of the company's wireless DSL equipment.

Broadband fixed wireless DSL equipment provider Airspan Networks of Sunrise, Florida, and Uxbridge in the United Kingdom, has announced it will be integrating 802.11b technology into its series of subscriber terminal products. The final product will be called the ST-W1 subscriber terminal. It is based on Airspan's existing licensed spectrum AS40xx series of terminals.

Adding Wi-Fi to the terminals means customers of wireless broadband services using the Airspan equipment can instantly provide a wireless LAN hotspot for customers. Internet traffic from the Wi-Fi network on the subscriber terminal then travels over licensed frequency spectrum airwaves to a central terminal or base station of the provider or telco, similar to a cell site. The base then connects to either a voice network or the Internet.

Traditional use of Airspan subscriber terminals required customers to wire each end-user workstation back to the terminal via an Ethernet network. A single ST-W1 terminal can be used in an enterprise to connect Wi-Fi-based nodes without even needing a separate wired network.

The ST-W1 will use off the shelf 802.11 equipment-- Airspan is in talks with a manufacturer of a retail access point to buy the transmit and receive components to integrate on the ST-W1's own board.

The product has already been testing in buildings by a major fixed wireless carrier in the United Kingdom, and campus deployments will begin in June 2002. Pricing depends on the how much is bundled into a ST-W1 such as extra voice and date option.

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