Enterprise wireless solution implementor Extricom has just announced the introduction of a new professional Wi-Fi switch with blanket technology, that is alleged to dramatically increase the adoption
of the "n" wireless draft.
The new wireless standard is still covered by draft specifications only. However, it promises increased data transfer rates over the previous Wi-Fi standards (a/b/g), but the vast majority of wireless networking solutions vendors could not achieve its full implementation using two radios and multiple antennas. This is because the power-over-Ethernet standard can only provide 12.95 watts of power.
According to the company, its "blanket architecture" can solve all the power-related issues while offering as much as four radios per access point.
The company's latest access point, called the EXRP-40En, features two n/a/b/g radios and two a/b/g radios, that can operate in a vast mixture of channels and wireless bands. All the N-capable radios come with 3x3 MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) antenna configurations.
"Other vendors' implementation plans for enterprise-class 802.11n abandon the 2.4GHz band, move to the 5GHz band, and require costly non-standard power-over-Ethernet schemes," said David Confalonieri, vice president of marketing at Extricom.
If the company's allegations are true, then Extircom will catch up with Siemens
on the 802.11n enterprise wireless market. Other hardware manufacturers have tried new approaches to solve the power-related issues, including proprietary power-over-Ethernet.
Extircom, however, managed to implement a "blanket" architecture, that tunes all the available access points to the same radio channel, which allows them to centralize their processing needs. According to Confalonieri, their 802.11n access points come without a central processing unit, which allows the company to pull out four radios at less than 6 watts in power consumption.
"Extricom's four-radio N access point is a new version of quad-radio 802.11abg APs launched a year ago," he claimed.
However, the company strongly advises its customers to introduce the new wireless draft in small steps, rather than replacing the whole networking real estate at once, because the 5 GHz spectrum plays by totally different rules than the previous 2.4 GHz band.