The First Enterprise-Class MIMO AP

1:00 PM -- Startup Bluesocket Inc. is planning to unveil its BlueSecure Access Point 1700 (BSAP-1700), the first MIMO-based access point specifically for enterprise use.

So, just what is an enterprise-class AP, anyway? And how come they cost so much more than residential APs that do the same thing?

We generally have two requirements in order to meet the definition of enterprise-class: power over Ethernet (support for 802.3af) and centralized management. Enterprise-class APs are frequently designed to work with wireless switches from a particular vendor, but they can also be more traditional in functionality. A good example here is the venerable and perpetually popular 1200 series from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), particularly when used with its WLSE controllers.

Bluesocket is the first to use a multiple input and output (MIMO) architecture, using components from Airgo Networks Inc. , in an enterprise-class product. Note, this is not a “Draft n” AP -- many people often forget that today’s MIMO implementations are backwards compatible with 802.11g, and provide what we like to call a “better g than g” experience with enhanced throughput and range, even with MIMO only on one end of the connection. And while the Bluesocket AP could be used with a compatible MIMO client adapter for much higher performance than is available in .11g alone, we expect most enterprise users installing this AP to do so for use with a variety of .11g clients. While we do not recommend “Draft n” products purchased with the assumption of upgradeability to compliance with the final standard (I’m skeptical if this will even work, given the amount of time yet required to get.11n issued), one can benefit from MIMO today with enterprise-class products like Bluesocket's.

— Craig Mathias is Principal Analyst at the Farpoint Group , an advisory firm specializing in wireless communications and mobile computing. Special to Unstrung

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