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Airespace's Free Ride

Wireless LAN switch startup Airespace Inc. is launching a free RF evaluation service today, in a bid to encourage more potential customers to try 802.11 networking.

The program, dubbed, "AireREAD" [ed. note: insert sad face here] offers enterprise customers a survey of the radio characteristics of a floor in their building. Site surveys are de rigueur for larger enterprise rollouts, because network managers need to find the optimal spot for access points to ensure the best coverage with minimal interference.

Curious corporates who qualify for the survey can send Airespace a floorplan, and the startup will send them back a foot in the door -- er... sorry... a radio survey of the floor and how many access points will be required to cover the area.

Alan Cohen, VP of marketing at Airespace, says that the firm is hoping that the scheme will encourage customers who are perhaps leery of this new wireless technology and increase user recognition of the Airespace name. "Hopefully, it will accelerate the education and the qualification process," quoth Cohen.

Airespace is not the only switch startup handing out free stuff in order to get in the face of potential kit buyers. Aruba Wireless Networks launched a service called "Wi-Fi It" [ed. note: insert another, yet sadder, face here] back in August, which is a program to provide free wireless LAN networking for large tradeshows.

On the face of it, the Aruba scheme is rather different from Airespace's, but the end goal is the same: Hook in the people that buy equipment for enterprises.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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