NEW YORK—3Com Corp. on Tuesday announced a new family of wireless LAN devices that support the recently ratified IEEE 802.11g standard, with plans to announce multi-band products later in the summer.
The products, on display at CeBit here, are geared toward small businesses and home offices, said officials at 3Com in Santa Clara, Calif. The OfficeConnect Wireless 11g Access Point includes a single ethernet port and supports the new Wi-Fi Protected Access security protocol. The OfficeConnect Wireless 11g Gateway has all the features of the access point, plus additional ports and a firewall, hacker prevention detection, VPN pass through and URL filtering. Both are available in July and will have street prices of around $100, according to Robert Winch, a product management director at 3Com. A companion PC Card, due to ship this month, will have a list price of $79.
802.11g, ratified last week, is designed to offer data throughput speeds of up to 54Mb/second. While actual performance rates are significantly lower, they are generally higher than 802.11b, which is the most popular WLAN standard today.
Later in July, 3Com plans to offer a PC Card that supports both 802.11a and b as well as 802.11g, officials said. 802.11a runs in the 5GHz radio band, while 802.11g and 802.11b run in the 2.4GHz band. The card also will support the LEAP security protocol so that it will be compatible with WLAN hardware from Cisco Systems Inc., which remains a favorite access point vendor of corporate customers in spite of high prices.
"There are still a lot of Cisco bigots out there," said Rob Karnbach, a wireless manager at 3Com.
Also in late July, 3Com plans to add support for the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) to its product line, Karnbach said. The company is also working on new network management software for its WLAN line, he said.
Throughout the summer and into the fall, the company also plans to offer 802.11g products geared toward security-conscious corporate customers.