Proxim's Network Planner

By Eric Griffith

September 27, 2004

The company is going to be reselling software tools to plan and manage a wireless network, and is also releasing a new small business AP.

The fortunes of Proxim may be questionable after some lean quarters, and after losing a law suit to a competitor over patent rights -- but that's not stopping the company from pressing forward with new products.

Its latest include a new access point for the small to medium business (SMB) market, and a new wireless planning and administration software suite that will combine tools from Proxim's partners.

The new AP, the ORiNOCO AP-700, is the latest generation up from the AP-600. The new product will support the draft for the 802.11e multimedia standard and full 802.11i-based security—soon to be available via software upgrade in all the ORiNOCO line—and will have stronger antenna power for greater range. The $599 unit will also work as a sensor for intrusion detection. The unit is already certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance for interoperability with other products.

The new software (the ORiNOCO Smart Wireless Suite) was co-developed by Proxim with WLAN software manager vendor Wavelink, which provides Proxim's preferred management system. It's actually a mix of products from Wavelink and location-technology provider Ekahau, according to Ben Gibson, Proxim's vice president of marketing.

"What we're doing [is] packaging two different Wavelink applications (Avalanche and Mobile Manager) and the Ekahau site survey tool through all Proxim distributors and VARs," says Gibson. "This allows one stop shopping."

By using the Wavelink Avalanche, he says, customers who upgrade to WPA2—the Wi-Fi Alliance's branding for the 802.11i specification—can use products like the Funk Software 802.1X supplicant software to get automatic distribution of information to the client software from a centralized point.

Companies with 25 or fewer access points can get the Wavelink Mobile Manager though Proxim for $1,900 with one year of maintenance. Same price for Avalanche. Ekahau's Wi-Fi Site Survey is $3,199.



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