Proxim slashes prices, intros 802.11g wireless access point

Wireless LAN vendor Proxim cut prices by almost a third for its Orinoco wireless LAN access points and introduced an access point using the 54M bit/sec IEEE 802.11g standard.

The company chopped the price of its main enterprise access point, the Orinoco AP-2000, from $895 to $595. The AP-2000 is a two-slot access point that can hold 11M bit/sec 802.11b adapters and, by attaching a separate kit, 54M bit/sec 802.11a adapters.

The AP-2500, designed as combination access point and gateway to be deployed quickly for public wireless hot spots, is now $795, down from $1,095.

Street prices are already dipping lower. Online retailer on Monday listed the AP-2000 for $440, with the 54M bit/sec kit for $176; the AP-2500 is $570.

Companies such as Linksys and D-Link offer dual-band access points for less, both under $230, while other enterprise vendors, such as Cisco, tend to be somewhat more expensive. lists a Cisco Aironet 1200 Series 11b access point, which can be upgraded to 11a, for $660; and the Aironet 1200 11a access point, with an empty slot for an 11b or 11g adapter, for $900. Accounting for the price differences are different levels of security, different network management features, power-over-Ethernet capability, metal instead of plastic housings, and so on.

The new Proxim 11g Kit, which will ship in the second quarter of 2003, is based on the draft IEEE standard known as 802.11g. This standard takes the same radio frequency as 11b, the 2.4-GHz band, but uses a different modulation scheme to boost the data rate to 54M bit/sec. As with all wireless LAN products, actual throughput for end users is less than half the data rate.

The new product will let network managers boost 2.4-GHz throughput for their users if the user devices are also equipped with corresponding 11g adapters. The 11g draft standard has been designed so that an 11g access point can still connect to an 11b client, though at the slower 11b data rate.

The new kit, which like the 11a kit attaches to the AP-2000, is the first of several 11g products, according to Proxim. Suggested retail price is $149.

Several other vendors have come out with similar products recently. lists the D-Link DWL-2000 Xtreme G access point for $130 and the Linksys Wireless-G for $140. So far, no interoperability tests have been created for these preliminary 11g products.


Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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