Motorola unveils 'tri-radio' 802.11n access point

March 26, 2008 -- The company says that its mesh-enabled AP-7131 access point enables deployment of "all-wireless" enterprise networks.

March 26, 2008 -- The Enterprise Mobility business of Motorola, Inc. has released its AP-7131, a "tri-radio" 802.11n access point (AP) featuring the company's adaptive AP architecture. According to the company, the tri-radio design integrates three 802.11n radios that simultaneously support high-speed client access, mesh backhaul and dedicated dual-band intrusion protection for enabling deployment of "all-wireless" enterprise networks. Further, using an expansion slot, the third radio can be field upgraded to enable next-generation 3G/4G technologies, such as WiMAX, for primary or redundant WAN connectivity.

Motorola and partner Moonblink Communications, a provider of Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and other broadband wireless platforms, also announced that California's San Marino Unified School District will be the first customer to combine an 802.11n WLAN deployment using the AP-7131 along with Motorola's Point-to-Point (PTP) wireless solutions to connect four school campuses in an end-to-end wireless network.

According to a press release, in an enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) survey¹ commissioned by Motorola, the research results of more than 550 enterprise WLAN decision-makers found that nearly four out of 10 respondents plan to deploy 802.11n technology in the next 12 months. Moreover, the survey found that the number of enterprises planning to use WLANs as their primary network will more than double in the next 12 months, growing from 8 to 17 percent. Gartner predicts² that "by year-end 2011, 70 percent of all new worldwide voice and data client-to-LAN connections will be wireless."

"We're thrilled to be deploying Motorola's new AP-7131 802.11n access points," comments Stephen Choi, director of technology at the San Marino Unified School District. "In evaluating vendors for WLAN, only Motorola provided an end-to-end wireless solution with the advantage of smart adaptability and mesh that met our evolving needs. We are looking forward to providing students and faculty with a fast, reliable wireless network that allows us to meet our educational goals."

Motorola says the AP-7131 access point has been engineered for flexibility and ease-of-use for wireless enterprise deployments, and can be used as a stand-alone AP within small to medium businesses. According to the company, in adaptive mode, the AP-7131 combines central management and site-survivability elements to help reduce the complexity of deployments in remote offices. In a campus WLAN switch environment using the thin AP mode, the device can be centrally managed for large scale deployments. The AP's multi-mode operation is supported by a common firmware version to simplify the task of building a large scale, multi-site wireless enterprise networks.

"The mesh-enabled AP-7131 provides the security and performance that enterprises require at a fraction of the cost of wired networks, realizing the long promised vision of the wireless enterprise," contends Sujai Hajela, vice president and general manager of Enterprise WLAN, at Motorola's Enterprise Mobility business. "Leveraging the industry's first tri-radio 802.11n AP, users will be able to unleash the full-potential of 802.11n for superior performance of data, video and voice applications, along with mesh backhaul and security on the network."

Featuring a Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS2)-compliant chipset, a MIPS network processor with hardware-accelerated encryption, and dual Gigabit Ethernet interfaces, the AP-7131 supports 600 Mbit/sec connection speeds, while simultaneously providing enterprise-class security. The unit provides 24/7 intrusion protection, which can significantly lower the cost of building a secure wireless enterprise, notes Motorola.

According to the company, whereas traditional solutions time-slice the radio for both access and intrusion protection, limiting 802.11n performance and security capabilities, the AP-7131 with its third radio eliminates the need for time-slicing or the need for a dedicated sensor AP for security -- thus reducing the cost of secure and manageable deployments.

To help customers with AP-7131 802.11n network rollouts, Motorola will launch its LANPlanner tool with 802.11n capability in the second quarter of 2008. The software will allow customers to view 802.11n AP placements along with AP-7131 MIMO performance maps. In addition, an Automated Migration Wizard will simplify migration to 802.11n by allowing businesses to specify migration paths, view mixed network coverage, and determine the exact number of AP-7131 AP's required in a final network design.

Finally, the company notes that the AP-7131's exterior design allows the same unit to work in both carpeted indoor areas and in industrial environments, by incorporating an aesthetically appealing "snap-on facade" with integrated antenna elements.

To learn more about Motorola's AP-7131 access point, click here.

¹ "E-WLAN Market Monitor Report" CWMP/eRewards Market Research, February 2008

² "Predicts 2008: Mobile and Wireless Set New Directions in Devices and Networking," Gartner, 17 December 2007, by Ken Dulaney, David Willis et al

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