RealTime IT News

Proxim Delivers 802.11a to Europe

Proxim Corporation of Sunnyvale, CA, has received certification to become the first company to ship 802.11a-based high-speed wireless local area network products in Europe. Nine countries (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Norway, and Portugal) will have Proxim's 54Mbps WLAN products available this month. Proxim expects certification to ship 802.11a products in most of the rest of Europe by the end of 2002.

The six month delay in getting the 5GHz WLAN technology was due to the strict certification process of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the country-by-country applications that must be made.

"ETSI is the European version of the FCC," says Lynn Lucas, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Proxim Corporation. "Europe has, as they do for most radio standards, slightly different rules than the U.S. One of the things they had was a provision that has to be implemented in 5GHz wireless LAN products that automatically avoids other radar and communications equipment."

Proxim had to submit its products for testing to a third party lab to make sure they met the requirements, file a report and submit samples of the 802.11a products to ETSI, and await confirmation. After that, each country must then approve.

Proxim has two 802.11a product lines, each consisting of an access point, a PCI card adapter for desktops, and a CardBus network interface card for laptops. The Skyline products are for small business or home use, while the Harmony products target the enterprise.

Both product lines share the 54Mbps speed, but Harmony includes more network management features, including the Harmony AP Controller hardware which can manage both 802.11b and 802.11a access points on the same network, as well as RADIUS and 802.1X support and VPN tunneling.

Both product lines also feature Proxim's proprietary 2X mode that boosts speeds to 108Mbps, but due to restrictions, in Europe that boost is not allowed, so the products will remain 54Mbps.

Proxim 802.11a products are currently sold in United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Philippines and Mexico.