Belden unveils wireless platform

September 28, 2006 -- The wireless platform is based on the company's recently announced partnership with wireless systems provider Extricom.

September 28, 2006 -- Belden recently announced the availability of the Belden Wireless Solution, based on the company's recently announced partnership with Extricom.

The company says the wireless platform overcomes the capacity, mobility, deployment issues prevalent in competitive wireless LAN (WLAN) systems, providing for seamless convergence of data, video, and voice applications including VoWLAN and Voice over Wi-Fi performance.

According to Belden, while standard WLANs use cell-based technologies that require complex radio frequency (RF) cell planning in an attempt to avoid co-channel interference, the Belden Wireless Solution uses a "channel blanket topology" to allow each radio channel to be used at every access point, thereby creating blankets of continuous wireless coverage with no roaming latency or co-channel interference problems. Equally important, notes the company, is that high throughput is achieved even when cell traffic is high, while full compliance with IEEE 802.11a/b/g protocol and security standards is maintained.

The wireless platform consists of three basic components:

-- The BWS-8008 (8-port) and BWS-8024 (24-port) switches, which are PoE-enabled, eliminating the need for a midspan or endspan devices. The switches control all aspects of cell traffic and user access, providing for the coexistence of all types of users, devices, and applications. This guarantees performance and quality of service (QoS) for all users, maintains the company.

-- The BWAP-200 "Thin" Access Points (APs) which provide tplug-and-play functionality; with all software and processing intelligence built in to the Belden wireless switch, the APs require no configuration and are easily interchangeable or replaced with any other BWAP-200 AP. The company says the APs never need to be configured, rebooted, or otherwise maintained, as they are under the complete control of the platform's switches.

-- Software, which manages the operation of the switches, allowing clients to associate directly with the switch and not the AP. In addition to managing all client associations, the software also provides a suite of standards-based security choices including WPA-2. This centralized software/switch control technology means that the APs are secure and removes the possibility of enabling a possible security breach, says the company.

Key benefits of the wireless platform, according to the company, include: superior capacity and bandwidth, covering the entire enterprise with overlapping blankets on independent channels; seamless AP-to-AP hand-off mobility for latency sensitive applications such as voice and video; easy to deploy, configure, validate, and maintain, providing plug-and-play flexibility to add or remove APs with no effect on the existing set-up; allows for a future-proof infrastructure in anticipation of fixed/mobile convergence of voice (VoWLAN), data, and video in wide-reaching WLAN deployments.

The company notes that network managers and administrators also benefit from using the wireless platform, as it eliminates the need for intricate RF cell designs and complex site surveys; only a rudimentary understanding of wireless is needed for deployment. An included software tool aids in determining the number of APs needed.

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