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Symbol Demos New Mesh Gear

It turns out that Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL) didn't just rent its fancy suite in the faux-boutique hotel inside Mandalay Bay in Vegas to show its new WI-NG "RF Switch." (See Interop's Wireless Hits.)

The Holtsville, N.Y-based vendor is also displaying the next product in its RF Switch product line, which the company hopes to start selling at the end of this year.

"It doesn't have a name or a number yet," says Chris McGugan, senior director of product management at Symbol's wireless infrastructure division. The product is going to a larger version of the initial WI-NG product that supports up to 256 access points off a single switch chassis and handles up to 2 Gigabits of AES encrypted "performance traffic." (See Symbol Preps 'RF Switch'.) Symbol's WI-NG approach reads like a hotlist of what users and vendors are concerned about in the wireless enterprise market right now. The switch can find RFID readers and run tagging data on the network alongside WiFi traffic.

Symbol is running a video survelliance application and a user presence application in its suite, while next-door neighbor and partner DiVitas Networks Inc. is also running the WiFi part of its fixed/mobile convergence demo -- which actually works -- over Symbol's meshed 802.11 network.

In fact, Symbol's McGugan thinks that the mesh capabilities of WI-NG have been overlooked, and that potential users are actually interested in using mesh for campus coverage and other large-scale business deployments.

Perhaps this is no surprise. These days enterprise mesh is definitely the poor cousin to the rather more sexy topic of metromesh. "The enterprise mesh play has been overshadowed," McGugan comments.

At any rate, he says Symbol hopes to unveil some WI-NG mesh users in June.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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