Airespace Gets Remote

For its last huzzah of 2003, wireless LAN switch startup Airespace Inc. has developed a new access point intended for remote office applications.

Yep, not content with getting its switch in a customer's data center or wiring closet, grabby ol' Airespace wants to put a reworked version of its "lightweight" access point (basically a radio node that is mostly controlled by the switch) into corporate branch offices as well.

The main difference between the new 1200R Remote Edge Access Point (REAP) (for that is its name) and the original Airespace lightweight access point is that the new AP still gets its management information from a centralized switch but local packet forwarding tasks are dealt with at the access point.

"We’re using a revised version of LWAPP [lightweight access point protocol]," says Jeff Aaron, senior manager of product marketing at Airespace. LWAPP is Airespace's bid to develop a standard way for "skinny" APs to talk to the switches that control them.

The 1200R is expected to start shipping in the first quarter of 2004, priced at $750 a pop.

Of course, Airespace is not the first wireless LAN firm looking to make it big in the branch office. Aruba Wireless Networks and ReefEdge Inc. have both recently launched products specifically aimed at this particular corner of the enterprise market (see Aruba's Mini-Switch and ReefEdge Makes Switch ).

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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