Nortel pitches new wireless LAN products

Nortel Networks this week plans to announce its entry into the wireless LAN market with an access point and security switch.

Nortel's wireless LAN debut comes as little surprise. Although it derives only a quarter of its revenue from the enterprise market, it served notice last fall that it planned to pursue enterprise opportunities with renewed vigor.

The Nortel Wireless LAN 2200 line access points are packed with features, and they use the security switch to protect and manage them.

The Access Point 2220 can hold two adapter cards, for 11M bit/sec 802.11b and 54M bit/sec 802.11a wireless networks. The 2220 can switch properly equipped wireless clients between either standard, selecting the highest available bandwidth for the distance and user numbers.

Nortel packed the 2220 with 16M bytes of RAM, which is more than many rival products, says Anthony Bartolo, director of product marketing for wireless LANs. "It's enough RAM to prevent memory restrictions, and we've got plenty to be able to introduce new standards (and features)."

The 2220 has quality-of-service (QoS) features such as prioritizing wireless LAN traffic based on application or location. Eventually, QoS will be based on the IEEE 802.11e draft standard. The access point also supports the IEEE 802.1x port-based authentication standard and Extensible Authentication Protocol.

Nortel plans to ship the 2220, which costs US$190, May 30.

The Wireless LAN Security Switch 2250 is designed to create a centralized command and control infrastructure for wireless access points. Nortel says the 2250 can adjust traffic among the attached access points to optimize throughput. A feature called Mobile Adaptive Tunneling lets the 2250 manage access for end users based on priority levels.

The 2250 is set to ship June 30 and cost between $6,000 and $7,000.

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