Proxim's 802.11n Hits 320M BPS

WLAN provider Proxim Wireless cracks speed records with an 802.11n deployment featuring a distributed wireless architecture that Proxim claims will cost half of what competitors' WLANs cost. By eliminating the centralized controller found in most Wi-Fi networks, Proxim hopes to overcome the enterprise objections of controller upgrades, deployment issues and network planning that have deterred companies from upgrading to 802.11n.

Proxim Wireless rolled out its 802.11n dual-radio solution Nov. 17, promising 320M bps of throughput. Proxim said its single radio version could hit maximum speeds of 170M bps. The speeds are almost seven times faster than current wireless networks.

In addition to designing the industry's fastest 802.11n access point, Proxim says its end-to-end broadband wireless system comes in at half the price of existing WLANs. The dual-radio AP8000 costs $1,099 while the AP800 comes with a price tag of $799.

The IEEE 802.11n is the next generation of the Wi-Fi standard. The primary advantages of 802.11n-compliant products are significantly higher throughput and longer range. However, many companies have shied away from 802.11n, citing the high cost of migration and the complexity of deployment.

Proxim said the cost savings of its new 802.111n products were achieved by eliminating the centralized controller found in most enterprise-class Wi-Fi systems, which Proxim said creates network bottlenecks. Using a distributed wireless architecture, Proxim claimed, dramatically reduces the cost of the back-end infrastructure when upgrading to 802.11n.

Proxim said in a statement its 802.111n deployment will allow "organizations of all sizes ... [to] achieve higher performance than their existing wired and wireless LANs while avoiding the costly controller upgrades, deployment challenges and additional network planning that have deterred enterprises from upgrading to 802.11n."

Proxim achieved further savings by using existing POE (power over Ethernet) infrastructure to power its dual-radio 802.11n access points. Proxim also claims it offers nearly double the transmit power of its competitors, eliminating the cost of additional wires and power injectors to each access point that are typically required with competitive 802.11n products.