Multiple Partners for Propagate

By Eric Griffith

December 03, 2003

An initial deal with Netgear has helped push Propagate Networks into getting support by a number of switch and gateway makers that will use the AutoCell embedded technology to help control the WLAN.

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- When Acton, Mass.-based Propagate Networks launched last summer, it was already hard at work with partners like Netgear and Atheros, who would be supporting use of Propagate's AutoCell software, an embedded technology that will automatically handle things like power levels and channel management.

Today the company was subject to multiple announcements as it becomes a partner with switch maker Chantry Networks, and becomes a part of systems from BlueSocket and ReefEdge, both of who will be using AutoCell-equipped access points with from Netgear.

What's more, the company announce various flavors of AutoCell that are appropriate for different vendors to build into products: AutoCell Enterprise for high end products, AutoCell Consumer for products in the home market, and a network management program called AutoCell View.

Gary Vacon, CEO of Propagate, says the announcements today involve serious enterprise players in some serious three-way partnerships. Specifically, both gateway maker Bluesocket and new-to-the-switch-market ReefEdge will be working with the new line of inexpensive, enterprise-class access points being put out by Netgear that integrate AutoCell.

"I think of them as 'thin APs by Patrick Lo,' if thin and inexpensive are the same thing," jokes Vacon, referring to the president and CEO of Netgear. He says the benefit for users will be not just his company's AutoCell self-configuration, but also the low cost of products from Netgear. More specifics on products that will support AutoCell will come in the first quarter of 2004, he says.

BlueSocket and ReefEdge have pledged to build in future support for the AutoCell API.

One start-up switch vendor is also going to build AutoCell into its proprietary products. Chantry Network's will put AutoCell into all future BeaconWorks enterprise wireless routers. They think the move will lower the cost for enterprises looking to deploy BeaconWorks as a solution, as the BeaconPoint end units can be distributed with less density, since AutoCell will help fill gaps in coverage.

"We're getting a lot of traction," says Vacon. "As we ship people will jump on board."

Propagate also plans to start a branding campaign with a company logo/mascot that will appear on AutoCell-equipped products in the future.

Propagate is showing in the exhibit hall at the Wi-Fi Planet Conference & Expo this week; they can be found at the Atheros booth.

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