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Motorola Releases Sub-$500 802.11n Access Point

Motorola has added two wireless products to its 802.11n wireless LAN SMART Branch portfolio: the sub-$500 dual-radio AP650 802.11n access point (AP) and the RFS4000 802.11n integrated services controller with an optional integrated dual-radio 802.11n access point.

The new AP, which retails for $495, offers 24 dBm radios and a 2x3 multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antenna set-up, indicating two transmitting antennas and three receiving antennas. The AP650 is controller-managed and offers Motorola Wireless Next Generation (Wi-NG) operating system features such as SMART radio frequency (RF), security, and plug-and-play installation. A multi-purpose capability allows IT departments to enable one radio for networking and another for sensing. This means that a dual-radio AP650 can support simultaneous access and services, including intrusion prevention, troubleshooting, or vulnerability assessment solutions.

"The thing about the AP650 is that we've now changed the cost structure of 802.11n--making it more affordable to put that in," said Andrew Peters, Motorola marketing director for Enterprise WLAN. "As soon as you plug in the AP, it's adopted by the controller. It finds itself. It uses SMART RF to find sources of attenuation and interference. In some cases, if there are issues, it can heal itself--fix holes in the network. It creates a seamless user experience."

The RFS4000 802.11n integrated services controller integrates wired, wireless, and security networking features into a compact form factor. The RFS4000 is also available with an integrated dual-radio 802.11n access point with 3x3 MIMO and 27.7 dBm dual-band 802.11n radios. The wireless services controller's multi-purpose capability allows IT staff to enable one radio for networking and the other for sensing, so the RFS4000 can support simultaneous access and services. The RFS4000 also delivers application services including voice-over-WLAN, video conferencing, and video surveillance, locationing, and 3G backhaul via an express card slot. Pricing for the RFS4000 starts at $1,299.

The SMART Branch portfolio is a suite of products intended to allow organizations to set up and administer 802.11n networks in remote locations without an IT person physically present. "We have a bunch of network, security, and application features in a single box," said Manish Rai, Motorola senior director of product marketing in the Enterprise Mobility division. "You can think of this box as deployed in a small school or a smaller building in a campus. It can replace a shopping cart of other boxes from other vendors."

"What really sets the SMART Branch apart is the ability to run troubleshooting, spectrum analysis and even intrusion prevention from any AP in the network so IT can dramatically improve user support, network visibility, and security," said Darryl Morin, president and CEO of Advanced Wireless, a mobility integrator based in Milwaukee.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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