Extreme's Second Wind

Networking vendor Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) is today unveiling a major refresh of its enterprise wireless LAN with an increased emphasis on voice -- and new anti-interference software from startup AutoCell Laboratories Inc. on the inside.

The firm is pushing the simplicity and capacity of its new Summit WM-series switches and Altitude 350 access points. Extreme has also upgraded roaming and quality-of-service capabilities to improve voice-over-WLAN performance.

"Over the next 24 months or so, the voice [over wireless LAN] market is going to become pretty interesting," says Scott Lucas, director of WLAN solutions at Extreme, who says he expects business customers to "kick the tires" of such systems over that period.

VOWLAN startup Meru Networks Inc. has been pushing a similar line recently (see Meru Touts FMC Ambitions ).

The automatic RF management software from AutoCell that Extreme is now using in its products helps to mitigate radio network inteference and choose the best channels to broadcast data on (see Propagate Changes Channels). The startup has been pushing its suitability for centrally managed wireless LAN architectures recently (see Netgear Plots AutoCell WiFi Switch)

Extreme has been in the market for about a year and a half, and has not -- so far at least -- managed to break Cisco Systems Inc.'s (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Symbol Technologies Inc.'s (NYSE: SBL) stranglehold on the corporate 802.11 market. The firm's original WLAN chief left last October (see Extreme's Jain Drain).

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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