Startup has 802.11g speed fix that hits the spot UPDATED 8/11 4PM

August 9, 2004

1 Min Read
Meru G's Up

Wireless LAN startup Meru Networks Inc. claims to have overcome a major 802.11g performance problem with its new AP200 access point.

The issue is this:

When the faster 802.11g (54 Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) clients are used on the same network as older, slower 802.11b devices (11 Mbit/s over 2.4GHz), all the clients get throttled back to b-type data rates. Rather like being stuck behind the cattle truck on a country lane while driving an MG (see Life in the Slow Lane).

Basically what Meru has done is create an access point that allocates the channel "according to need", using what Meru calls a "higher level fairness algorithm."

"So if there are b clients in the channel but they have nothing to transmit then the g clients take the full channel," explains Sarah Kim, marketing manager for the firm in an email reply to further questions. "If there are b and g then at g's allocated time, the b's do not transmit."

"That's not to say the b's go first or last or 802.11g clients get access at the expense of 802.11b clients," Kim notes, saying that the system works with complex algorithms "to deal with channel allocation."Kamal Anand, vice president of marketing at Meru Networks, says that the "dual-speed" software incorporated on the firm's new access point offers twice the performance for g clients on a standard mixed network.

The company has also implemented support for 802.11a (54 Mbit/S over 5GHz) in its new box.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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