Wi-Fi Planet Expo Show Wrap-Up

By Eric Griffith

December 08, 2003

Better late than never, a look at the rest of the announcements from last week's conference and expo.

Better late than never, here's a look at the rest of the product and service announcements from last week's Wi-Fi Planet Conference and Expo in San Jose, Calif.:

  • Enterasys Networks celebrated 10 years in the wireless networking industry by releasing its RoamAbout AP3000 Access Point. This product is a dual-band unit that replaces the 11b-only AP2000. It runs on the RoamAbout R2 Platform and run several using the NetSight Atlas management software. The new unit will also have built in AES hardware to support 802.11i in the future. They haven't decided on pricing yet, but promise it will be 'aggressive' in comparison to other vendors.

  • WildPackets' AirPeek NX Expert Distributed WLAN Analysis Solution (whew) for site surveys, WLAN monitoring and other deeds got an upgrade at the show. Plus the companion RFGrabber Probes, which is uses for sniffing the air, support 802.11g now -- along with 11a/b.

  • Wi-Fi Watchdog 3.0 was launched at the show -- and won the Wi-Fi Planet Best of Show Award in the security category, to boot. This security software uses location-based technology that Newbury Networks has been working on since its inception. It will do more than just detect rogues and unauthorized users -- it can create a physical barrier against them. Security policies can now be based on the location of the users or intruders. In the words of company CEO Michael Maggio, "location makes all the difference in avoiding false positives." This program has a starting price of $29,995.
  • MapInfo Corp. launched its own hotspot finder, HotSpotInfo, which lets users find public Wi-Fi locations around the United States. The list is a mix of the company's map technology and the Wi-Fi List maintained at our sister site, Wi-FiHotspotList.com. Instead of just getting a list of locations, now you can pinpoint where that location is on a map in relation to you. HotSpotInfo is itself licensable from MapInfo.

  • Wibhu Technologies launched an integrated radio frequency management software suite at the show, for doing three things: security, monitoring, and planning. Respectively called SpectraGuard, SpectraMon, and SpectraPlan, these products do 24x7 RF protection and monitoring, as well as site surveys. The software is made for Linux and Windows platforms, and will work with servers from Microsoft, Oracle and Sun.

  • Fabless semiconductor company and antenna designer Motia made its first public announcement at the show when it unveiled Javelin, a "smart antenna appliqué." Using beam-forming technology it can reportedly extend Wi-Fi product range up to four times the norm and reduce power drain by 90%. The technology uses an adaptive array so all the antennas have the same form, according to Dr. Jack Winters, the company's chief scientist. The first Javelin implementation available will be a 2.4GHz 802.11b/g.

  • Authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) provider Bridgewater Systems has added 802.11-based roaming to its AAA Service Controller. Enterprise customers of major service providers using the controller can take advantage of moving around from location to location, even if their provider isn't running the hotspot they're using (though roaming agreements are needed between the carrier and the hotspot venue).

  • Cirond Corp. says as of January 30 of next year, it will release the 2.0 version of WiNc, its software for connecting Windows users to wireless networks. The new software will support skins to change the look, Windows domain logons, and will even integrate ping and trace routing for easy network connection diagnosis. The software will be $19.95. The $2500 WiNc Manager software will also hit version 2.0 and add new features like rogue ad-hoc connection detection. It comes with 50 licenses for WiNc and Pocket WiNc for PDAs using Pocket PC. Cirond's products will be co-marketed in the future with hardware from Netgear.

  • Nomadix Service Engine (NSE) software also got a new version. The software comes embedded on Nomadix gateway boxes or for licensing to other gateway vendors, brings with it wholesale roaming through creation of multiple VPN tunnels from the ISP to the hotspot, secure remote management, a RADIUS-server driven configuration feature, and even billing support for Marriott Hotel's Wired for Business initiative. The software should be out by December 31.


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