Perhaps that's one reason why startups like Airespace Inc. and Strix Systems Inc., firms that typically target the enterprise, are now talking up public access deals. [Ed note: The prospect of opening up an additional revenue stream probably doesn't hurt either.] Windy City Wireless: Leading wireless LAN switch startup Airespace isn't really going to get cold and wet as part of its deal to unwire 79 public library buildings in Chicago. The firm has installed 100 access points and several switches -- all centrally managed by Airespace software -- inside library buildings to offer free WLAN services to laptop-equipped bibliophiles [ed note: shhhhhhhh!].
But the startup also has a "secure channel" that can be accessed by police and other city workers outside the building. Airespace said it would get back to us about how the channel is secured but hasn't yet.
Bleacher Phones: Voice-over-WLAN maven SpectraLink Corp. is installing its VOIP handsets at another Airespace public deployment -- the HP Pavillion in San Jose -- so that managers and staff at the sports ground can communicate wirelessly with colleagues.
A spokesperson for Spectralink says that arena staff often found it difficult to get a good cellular connection when fans are in the stadium and that the WiFi phones offer "more privacy" than the walkie-talkies traditionally used for such applications.
Outdoor Trix: Strangely silent startup Strix Systems made some noise this week about its new outdoor self-healing modular WLAN system. Its ruggedized, apparently.
The company says the outdoor units retain the features offered by its enterprise kit, but are housed in casing designed to withstand the elements (see Strix's Radio Trix).
The startup, which only sells through its channel partners, says that it decided to build an outdoor system after several partners started offering customers its enterprise product in -- you've guessed it -- weatherproof casing.
Remote Site Shut-in: But, of course, not every firm is ready to leave the office just yet. Bluesocket Inc. has a new wireless LAN appliance aimed at securing and managing the branch office. The WG-400 is an appliance with a built-in switch that can connect up to eight third-party access points -- four via the switch -- and support up to 50 users.
Bluesocket is pushing its support for third-party access points as a selling point for the new product. It is using standard management information base (MIB) interfaces to manage a variety of enterprise-class APs (see Wireless LAN Class Wars).
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung