Proxim's Enterprise 11g Products Ship

By Eric Griffith

June 02, 2003

The first company with 'enterprise class' products using the 802.11g draft specification is now shipping single-band access points and dual- and single-band client cards.

First announced back in January when 802.11g was fresh on everyone's minds but far from a finished specifications, Proxim Corporation is now shipping its ORiNOCO products for businesses that want 802.11g.

The products will include access points: the $695 dual-radio ORiNOCO AP-2000b/g and the $495 single-radio AP-600b/g, both of which support 802.11g with backwards compatibility to 802.11b.

The AP-2000, since it has dual-radios, supports two different 2.4GHz networks simultaneiously (11b and g both run in the 2.4GHz band). Thus the unit avoids bandwidth issues in mixed-mode networks where clients might have both 802.11b and g cards.

"One of the advantages of the AP-2000 is ability to run a b radio AND G radio and support both types of clients separately," says Georganne Benesch, vice president of product management at Proxim. The AP-2000b/g comes with a 11g radio card, or you can purchase it without radios and upgrade yourself (the upgrades come in a PC Card form factor, but they only work with the ORiNOCO products). Those with existing 802.11b AP-600s or 2000s can purchase the G upgrade kit separately, which was previously announced with a price of $149.

The access points have full support for Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA), 802.1X authentication, upgrades to 802.11i, Power over Ethernet (802.3af), and plenum rating.

ORiNOCO client cards with 802.11g are also now shipping. They include the following PC Cards for laptops:

  • ORiNOCO Gold 11a/b/g ComboCard $119)
  • ORiNOCO Silver 11a/b/g ComboCard ($99)
  • ORiNOCO Gold 11b/g PC Card ($99)
  • ORiNOCO Silver 11b/g PC Card ($81)

    The difference between Gold and Silver: Gold has 152-bit WEP, WPA, control over the transmit power of the card, and the ability to setup an unlimited number of profiles in the driver software. Silver cards have the standard 128-bit WEP key, WPA, and only two available user profiles.

    The company will also have ORiNOCO 11a/b/g PCI Card for desktops in July, with a cost of $129.

    "Another important feature in the client cards is that we support World mode -- there's a standard called 802.11d, which can take regulatory information from the access point. It can be used anywhere in the world. The info might include what channels or power levels can be used in whatever country," says Benesch.

    802.11g is not quite yet a finished specification-- the version 8.2 draft is now with the IEEE for final ratification -- but that's far enough along that the company is no longer waiting. They are, in fact, the only enterprise company with 802.11g-capable products and are the only group to officially announce 11g for the enterprise market. Benesch says "I don't know why others have not provided at least some kind of roadmap for customers to G. Our customers are asking, we're seeing demand." ( Cisco did recently tell 802.11 Planet that its Aironet series of access points will be getting 802.11g later this year, but has not formally announced any details about upgrades).



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