Boost for Wireless LANs?

By Brian P. Watson  |  Posted 2006-05-30
Bluesocket earlier this month introduced new wireless local-area network access point devices built on technology that the company says gives users greater coverage and capacity than existing products.

The access point devices—which allow wireless devices to connect to a local-area network—have multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology; the MIMO feature incorporates six radios and antennas that use the same frequency and transmit on the same channel to provide better wireless coverage.

The enterprise access point devices, dubbed BSAP-1700, are powered by chip sets made by Palo Alto, Calif.-based Airgo, and are compatible with wireless devices based on the 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g standards set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

The Bluesocket product is also designed to allow for an easy upgrade to 802.11n, the next iteration of the standard. Wireless products based on the 802.11n standard are expected to hit the market next year. Mike Puglia, Bluesocket's senior director of marketing, says the chips in the access point devices can simply be replaced.

He adds that the new Bluesocket access points sell for about $795, which he says is about $200 cheaper than Cisco's competing product, the Aironet 1230, which lists for $999.

And Puglia says the technology delivers a better user experience: "What MIMO does, since it can blast away on all six antennas at the same time and receive on all six antennas, is give the clients a much more unified coverage."