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11/11/2010
07:27 AM
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Meraki Unveils Two New Access Points

Wireless networks are becoming smaller, more powerful, and less expensive. In order to keep pace with competitors, Meraki announced two 802.11n wireless access points.

Wireless networks are becoming smaller, more powerful, and less expensive. In order to keep pace with competitors, Meraki announced two 802.11n wireless access points.The devices feature 2x2 MIMO chipsets, operate at speeds up to 600M bps and support up to 100 users. The Meraki MR16, which sells for $649, is a dual concurrent device that delivers up to 600M bps of bandwidth. The Meraki MR12, which costs $349, is a single radio access point supporting 300M bps transmissions.

The products feature a one inch thin design, so they can be mounted in high traffic areas, such as lobbies and conference rooms. The access points include a mounting kit with wall and ceiling options. They work with 802.3af Power over Ethernet or DC Power. Meraki's products include spectrum analysis and application traffic shaping designed to improve performance. In addition, a company can set its firewall policies at the department, user or guest level.

Founded in March 2006, the vendor raised $25 million in start up capital, including investments by Sequoia Capital and Google. The company's goal was to provide high end wireless networking functionality in low cost, easy to install devices. The firm has had some success: Meraki claims to have more than 16,000 customers in more than 140 countries.

However, the vendor could face challenges in the future. The network equipment market has been moving away from autonomous devices, such as wired switches or wireless access points, to consolidated systems that not only support a variety of networking options but also other devices, such as storage systems and servers. Consequently, niche suppliers, such as Meraki, have been finding it difficult to compete against suppliers with broader product lines. Long term, additional consolidation is expected in the network equipment market.

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