Access Points Support Mixed Network Configurations

By Matthew Peretz

January 14, 2002

Symbol unveils WLAN architecture with multiple, mixed network configurations in mind for high-data rate migrations and investment protection.

Symbol Technologies announced today that it will begin shipping its Mobius 5224 WLAN Access Points (APs) in three form factors: An 802.11a expansion kit, 802.11a/802.11b, and 802.11a/802.11FH (Frequency Hopping).

The products are part of the Mobius architecture suite, a WLAN platform designed to enable successful deployments of 5 GHz 802.11a networks while fully supporting co-existing networks in the 2.4 GHz band (802.11b).

The 802.11a expansion kit provides seamless expansion to 802.11a for installed 802.11FH and 802.11b network APs.

The apparently growing industry strategy of simultaneously supporting multiple network architectures is premised on the idea that 802.11b and 802.11a will co-exist because each technology has strengths in different areas and applications. Experts have hypothesized that 802.11b's extended range may make it more suitable for applications such as supply-chain management and point-of-sale. The strength of 802.11a with it's higher throughput (up to 54 Mbps) may make it most suitable to bandwidth demanding applications such as streaming audio/video and interactive kiosks, where range isn't as much of an issue.

Extensive existing implementations of 802.11b infrastructures in corporations highlight the need for migration paths that protect and support initial capital investments in WLANs, and provide necessary high-bandwidth implementations without making prior installations obsolete.

The Mobius 5224 architecture is designed to be complementary to existing Symbol Spectrum24 802.11 FH or Spectrum24 High Rate 802.11b wireless LANs. It is generally accepted that the short-term trend in the industry will be that 802.11b will continue to dominate planned implementations - based primarily on its established record of stability and acceptance as a worldwide standard. Therefore, the need to support both standards is evident.

Symbol also announced that it plans to bring 802.11a capable handheld devices to market later in 2002.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com



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