January 15, 2002
Symbol WLAN Products To Provide Application Support and Investment Protection for Deployments of 802.11a with 802.11b or 802.11 FH
Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:SBL), today announced the Symbol Mobius(TM) wireless local area networking (WLAN) architecture, designed to deliver media-independent high-performance IEEE 802.11a WLAN communications while protecting customers' investments in IEEE 802.11 frequency hopping (FH) and IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless infrastructure, mobile device and application assets.
Symbol's first 802.11a-capable product in the Mobius architecture suite is the Mobius 5224 Access Point. The Mobius 5224 is designed to bring up to 54 Mbps of data speed over a 5.2GHz band, complementing existing Symbol Spectrum24 802.11 FH or Spectrum24 High Rate 802.11b wireless networks. Later in 2002, Symbol will also bring 802.11a capable handheld mobile computing devices.
"In the markets we serve, enterprises will continue to realize high return on investment (ROI) from their existing 802.11 FH and 802.11b mobile computing device and network deployments. While there is a lot of interest in the new 802.11a technology, it is important to support the installed base of WLAN users while offering the next generation of technology," said Ray Martino, Vice President, Wireless Network Products, Symbol Technologies, Inc. "With our new Mobius architecture, Symbol provides customers the right wireless technology, at the right time, to support the right application. Because Mobius enables an intelligent adoption strategy, enterprises can avoid a `rip-and-replace' strategy."
According to Venture Development Corp (VDC), the installed base (1998-2001) for 802.11 (including Direct Sequence and Frequency Hopping) and 802.11b access points and radios (embedded and stand alone NICs) is over 1.3 million and 7.9 million units, respectively. Volume shipments for 802.11b WLAN access points will represent nearly 73% of all WLAN access point shipments through 2003, according to VDC.
"VDC expects that 802.11b will remain the dominant WLAN technology in the near future as its performance characteristics meet most end user application requirements and because of its strength as an internationally recognized and accepted standard," said David Krebs, Group Manager, Enterprise Networks, VDC. "While we feel that 5GHz solutions, such as 802.11a, will play a significant role in the development of the WLAN market, this will not be a one-solution market and we urge suppliers to have solid co-existence and migration strategies."
The Symbol wireless LAN strategy promotes the coexistence of two sound networks: one based on the 2.4GHz band of unlicensed spectrum for data rates of 11Mbps or less supporting mobile computing applications such as supply chain management, bed-side care, and point-of-sale; and one based on the 5.2GHz band for bandwidth demanding, graphics-rich, video and interactive kiosk applications.
Symbol will ship the Mobius 5224 access point in three form factors -- 802.11a expansion kit, 802.11a/802.11b, and 802.11a/ 802.11FH. The 802.11a expansion kit will leverage existing wireless infrastructures and network design by providing seamless expansion to 802.11a communications for installed 802.11 FH or 802.11b access points. Symbol's solution will expand the breadth of mobile and notebook PC computing applications that can be deployed on the networks.
Symbol's team of SymbolCare(TM) wireless experts has developed comprehensive site survey methodologies so that customers can expect to generate the highest level of performance, functionality and mobility from their wireless network designs. This Mobius series of 802.11a products will feature the level of enterprise class security, management, quality of service and mobility features that customers currently enjoy in their existing Spectrum24 and Spectrum24 High Rate wireless LAN deployments.
Symbol will be demonstrating 802.11a WLAN technology this week at the National Retail Federation (NRF) tradeshow in New York, January 14-16, 2002, in Booth No. 1103.
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