Proxim Announces 802.11g for SMB

By Eric Griffith

February 10, 2003

The ORiNOCO line of products adds a new series of access points for small to medium sized businesses that support 802.11b, g, and a, as well as its first 802.11g client product.

In a continued push of new products, Proxim Corporation today unveiled its latest additions to the ORiNOCO line of wireless LAN products.

The new AP-600b is a $395 MSRP access point supporting 802.11b; the AP-600a is a $549 MSRP access point supporting the faster 802.11a. Both are available now, and Proxim expects street prices to be as much as $150 less suggested retail.

The company also is announcing the AP-600g, a $495 MSRP 802.11g-based access point, and a $129 upgrade kit for the current AP-600b to switch to 802.11g by swapping out an internal miniPCI card. Both will be available in a few weeks.

According to Georganne Benesch, vice president of product management at Proxim, the company defines the target small to medium business (SMB) for these products as any company with 50 to 250 users.

"What we're seeing in this segment is that, while the scale is different, the feature set is overlapping," said Benesch. "On the small business side, there's a bigger focus on cost and simplicity. On enterprise, there is a need for value adds like guest access."

All of Proxim's 11g products will be available in the second quarter of 2003. The AP-600g not Proxim's first announced 802.11g product -- last week they unveiled an upgrade for their enterprise class AP-2000 product to use 802.11g.

Proxim is using 11g chipsets from Atheros, a company that has recently been vocal about what it thinks is the substandard support for 802.11g in currently shipping products.

Benesch said the company took the fundamental software functions of the AP-2000 product and ported them to the new AP-600 line. Hardware is where there's a difference. The AP-2000 supports dual-modes by taking upgrade kits, but each AP-600 single-slot, with support for its particular flavor of 802.11 based on a miniPCI card inside.

The AP-600 line can be run using Power over Ethernet (PoE) or using a standard power-brick in an outlet, and has integrated antennas plus external antenna connectors. It can be mounted anyway a user wants, on a wall, desktop (it can be tied down using a third party Kensington lock), or even above ceiling tiles (it's Plenum rated for that ability). Each supports SNMP and is individually configurable via a Web browser.

The AP-600 products will all support Maestro, the centralized, switched WLAN architecture Proxim announced last week.

Proxim's first client card with 802.11g is also on the way for the second quarter. The 11g Gold CardBus Client will be $99 and will support WEP up to 128-Bit, and Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) when it's available).

A 802.11g products come out the prices drop on the 802.11b products. Proxim is dropping the price of its Gold and Silver 802.11b cards. The 128-bit WEP capable gold goes to $119 to $79 while the 64-bit WEP capable Silver drops from $99 to $59.



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