Optical/IP Networks

3Com Pushes Enterprise WLAN

Old school networking company 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS) has updated its wireless LAN networking offerings with a new switch and access point and is also talking up the benefits of integrating wireless with other types of networking kit.

The firm is announcing the new WXR100 remote office wireless LAN switch and the managed access point 3750. The WXR100 is a branch office switch. The new AP is a skinny access point that can support new dual-band, high-gain external antennas for better wireless range.

The firm has also updated its management software so that it can support Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Proxim Corp. (Nasdaq: PROX) access points. The software is applicable to 3Com's stand-alone access points as well as the switch systems it OEMs from Trapeze Networks Inc..

All of which builds out 3Com's WLAN portfolio, but Rohit Mehra, 3Com's director of product management for wireless, says that the firm's next task is to integrate WLAN with the rest of its portfolio.

"One of my plans here is to move as quickly as possible to a unified architecture... wired and wireless... that's where the market is headed," the ex-Bluesocketeer tells Unstrung.

As well as developing switches that handle both wired and wireless switching, Rohit is looking at coupling wireless products with the intrusion prevention systems brought in when 3Com acquired TippingPoint last year.

And Rohit notes that 3Com has an in-house IP PBX division that the wireless unit will be working with over the next 12 to 18 months.

All this is in order to cement 3Com's position in the wireless LAN market. The firm is now one of the top three or four suppliers of enterprise wireless LAN gear, after Cisco and Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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