A Boston area startup last week introduced software designed to control the spectral milieu of a WLAN without much need for human intervention.
Officials at Propagate Networks Inc. said their AutoCell software automatically controls the radio frequency environment of a companys wireless LAN.
"Its like the Dolby noise reduction of wireless LANs," said Paul Callahan, co-founder and vice president of business development at Propagate, in Acton, Mass.
AutoCell is an embedded control system that sits on top of the firmware of access points and client adapters.
Using what the company calls the Distributed Radio Control Protocol, or DRCP, AutoCell tracks traffic across WLAN channels, regardless of the 802.11 protocol, to continuously load-balance and adjust the environment for access points and clients as usage patterns change and hardware is added to the network.
The software uses several mechanisms to control the network according to the location of the clients. If one access point is overloaded, for example, the software will hand a clients traffic over to one with a lighter load regardless of proximity to the user, officials said. This cuts down on the need for site surveys.
Officials would not give the price of the software, which is expected to appear in access points this fall. But they did say that their first public customer is NetGear Inc., which focuses on low-cost access points and plans to distribute AutoCell with its products later this year.
Propagate has partnered with Atheros Communications Inc. to ensure the software works with that companys WLAN chip sets. Atheros officials said several customers are considering bundling AutoCell with their products.