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Clear Choice Test

Wireless LAN access points

Introduction|Slideshow|How we did it|Test archive

Big players missing in action

By , Network World
October 27, 2008 12:07 AM ET

Network World - Almost as notable as the remarkable results in this test are some of the big names that didn't show up: Major WLAN vendors Aruba Networks, Cisco and Trapeze Networks all declined to participate in this project.

Aruba's absence came as a surprise. The vendor has fared very well in previous Network World tests, and offered constructive input when we put together the test methodology. When the company said it wouldn't play this time, citing a desire to devote resources elsewhere, Network World's editors appealed the decision all the way to the company's founders. But Aruba still declined to play, saying it's determined to focus more on customer support than on public testing.

Cisco never really got involved in the test process. It did not provide direct input into the test plan, and it cited unspecified concerns with the testing tools as a reason for not participating. We pressed Cisco for specifics but did not receive a response

Trapeze offered input when we put this project together, agreed to participate and reserved lab time. Then, two days before its test slot, Trapeze announced it wouldn't participate.

A long but ultimately fruitless conference call failed to nail down a specific reason for Trapeze's abrupt about-face. At some points on the call, Trapeze seemed to cite resource constraints and/or issues with the test plan, but at other points Trapeze emphatically said these were not reasons for pulling out. We're still unclear on why Trapeze got cold feet.

Obviously we hope to include these vendors in future comparisons. For now, though, the only thing we can say is that some vendors were willing to have enterprise 802.11n performance compared in a neutral third-party setting and others weren't. When assessing gear from vendors that didn't participate, we believe it's reasonable for enterprises to ask about that unwillingness.

< Return to main test: 802.11n gear 10 times faster than current Wi-Fi offerings >

Read more about wireless & mobile in Network World's Wireless & Mobile section.

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