Proxim Enters Wireless Switch Business

Company to ship platform later this year that centralizes the intelligence of a wireless LAN into an edge switch.

Wireless LAN equipment maker Proxim Corp. on Monday announced its entry into the wireless switch business.

The Sunnyvale, Calif., company later this year will start shipping Maestro, a platform that centralizes the intelligence of a wireless LAN into an edge switch, rather than keeping it in the access points.

It will work with existing access points from Proxim as well as those from any other vendors that adhere to IEEE WLAN standards, officials said.

Key features included in the switch include a variety of security protocols, network management (using technology from Proxims existing Harmony line of management products), voice-over-WLAN, and power-over-Ethernet services. The system adjusts bandwidth allocation and access control dynamically, officials said.

"If you integrate access control, mobility services, an edge switch and a power hub, you have the basics of what were talking about," said Georganne Benesch, vice president of product management for Proxims LAN division. "Its designed to add new functionality to current WLAN products in order to support broader deployments."

Maestro also will be a core part of the joint venture by Proxim, Motorola Inc. and Avaya Inc. to collaborate on technology that can roam between cell phone networks and wireless LANs without interruption, officials said.

Centralizing wireless LAN management into an edge switch has become an industry trend. Silicon Valley startups Aruba Wireless Netoworks Inc., Black Storm Networks Inc. and Trapeze Networks Inc. are taking similar steps, as is veteran Symbol Technologies Inc.

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