Proxim Introduces First Affordable WLAN Solution for Small to Medium-Sized Businesses

Proxim Corporation (Nasdaq: PROX), a leading provider of high-performance wireless local area networking (WLAN) and wireless wide area networking (WWAN) products, today announced the ORiNOCO AP-600a, AP-600b and AP-600g small and medium business (SMB) access points. As part of its affordable SMB offering, Proxim also announced the new ORiNOCO 802.11g Gold CardBus Card and an 802.11g Access Point upgrade kit. SMBs and other value-conscious customers such as schools and small hotspots can now install a low-cost wireless solution with enterprise-class performance, security and management.

“The AP-600 family from Proxim is unique because it offers the most robust security, management and performance available at SMB price-points,” said Angela Champness, senior vice-president and general manager of Proxim’s LAN Division. “Our research shows that SMBs are eager to deploy WLANs, but until now have had to settle for low-performance, low-quality products. Our AP-600 provides the high performance and security that SMBs require, at attractive price points.”

The ORiNOCO AP-600 family is the only solution available today that offers the benefits of a full-featured enterprise-class AP at a price perfect for the small/medium business and education budget. Proxim is now delivering the high level of functionality available in its industry-leading enterprise access points, the AP-2000 and AP-2500, in an easy-to-install SMB solution. The AP-600 supports a single radio for single-client environments, while the AP-2000 and AP-2500 are dual-slot products for networks that require greater density and higher bandwidth.

Enterprise-Class Security

The AP-600 provides support for industry-standard security technologies, assuring SMBs that their network is as secure as a wired network. In addition to standard WEP encryption, the AP-600 provides 802.1x-based WLAN security with auto key management. Additional security includes 802.1x per-user, per-session encryption keying for the 802.11a and g products, as well as support for a broad range of EAP types. The AP-600 is Wireless Protected Access (WPA) ready and will have support for this emerging standard through a firmware upgrade.

Enterprise-Class Management

SMBs also require robust but simple management. The AP-600 can be managed using a standard web-browser that will allow configuration and monitoring of the access point. Full SNMP support is provided, including standard and extended MIBs and traps, making it possible to manage the AP-600 with standard SNMP management tools.

A Safe Investment

Customers can purchase an AP-600 today knowing that they have a simple migration to future standards and functionality. The AP-600 ships with an upgradeable mini-PCI radio that can be replaced using the ORiNOCO AP-600 11g Upgrade Kit. To make upgrading even more attractive, the AP-600b includes a $25 rebate coupon good when purchasing the AP-600 11g Upgrade Kit, making the additional cost for .11g no higher than purchasing an AP-600g. Additionally, the AP-600a is upgradeable to future 802.11a revisions, such as support for 802.11i.

Robust Hardware
The AP-600 includes important hardware features that have previously been found only in enterprise-class APs. These include 802.3af Power over Ethernet support, a wide range of mounting options, plenum-rated enclosure, and a wide temperature range for harsh environments. The unit’s internal antennas give the APs a compact appearance, while external antenna connectors (for .11b and .11g versions) provide support for range extender options. The AP-600 is the only access point available in any 802.11 standard radio configuration.

New and Lower-Priced Client Cards

As part of its total 802.11g solution, Proxim will provide the ORiNOCO 11g Gold Cardbus Card. This card will allow PC notebooks to have high-speed access to any 802.11g network and provide backward compatibility to 802.11b. The ORiNOCO 11g Gold Cardbus card provides the same high quality and robust functionality of the Proxim ORiNOCO 802.11b and a/b client cards. This includes 802.1x support, a comprehensive configuration tool, and an integrated diversity antenna.

In addition, the popular ORiNOCO 11b Gold and Silver Card MSRPs have been reduced by up to 40%. This price move, made possible in part by lower manufacturing costs, is another step by Proxim to guarantee that the deployment of high quality, secure, and manageable wireless networks is affordable and cost-effective for small businesses and schools.

Pricing and Availability

The AP-600b and AP-600a are available immediately for MSRPs of £263 (€398) and £366 (€554). The AP-600g will be available in Q2 for a MSRP of £330 (€500).

The AP-600 11g Upgrade Kit will be available in Q2 for a MSRP of £89 (€134).

The 11g Gold CardBus Client will be available in Q2 and will be priced at a MSRP of £69. The ORiNOCO 11b Gold PC Card MSRP has been reduced to £43 (€65) and the ORiNOCO 11b Silver Card now has a MSRP of £30 (€45)

All ORiNOCO products are available through Proxim’s extensive worldwide network of resellers and distributors.


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