Avaya Releases 802.11b/802.11a Capable Twin Slot WLAN Access Point

Avaya Corporation Monday announced the release of its Access Point-3 (AP-3) for 802.11 WLANs. The access point is designed to facilitate the migration of network infrastructures from operating in the 2.4 GHz range (802.11b) to 802.11a radios in the 5 Ghz range.

The AP-3 utilizes a twin 32-bit CardBus slot architecture. This dual-slot architecture is what enables the transition from 802.11b to 802.11a radios. Initially, two 802.11b radios can be installed in the access points. When the new 802.11a radios become available the user simply pulls one or both 802.11b radios and puts in the 802.11a radio(s). The architecture allows for the use of one of each type of radio simultaneously if a gradual transition to 802.11a is required.

The AP-3 supports the 802.1.x network security standard. This new standard provides user-based authentication and regular encryption key re-distribution. End user clients like Windows XP can be authenticated by a RADIUS server and supplied with a WEP security key.

Remote network configuration and management via Web browser or Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) is supported. Avaya stated that the AP-3 uses a Wireless Distribution System (WDS), enabling a single access point to act as a repeater station or wireless bridge to expand network infrastructure.

Avaya stated that the AP-3 is one of the fruits of the Avaya-Agere partnership. Agere Systems provides WLAN technology for Avaya. The Avaya Access Point-3 will be available in October 2001 according to Avaya. It will be sold through the company’s channels, distributors, and resellers. The AP-3 will list for $1,295.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of 802.11-Planet.com

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