April 8, 2009
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Tropos 802.11n Mesh Router
In another sign that 802.11n is becoming more mainstream, Tropos Networks on Wednesday released a series of outdoor mesh routers that can utilize the wireless networking standard. The new lineup of routers includes the Tropos 7320, 6320, and 6310, and each is designed for enterprises of all sizes. All three have been optimized for outdoor use, run Tropos' Mesh operating system, and will be backward compatible with existing Tropos routers for mesh network capabilities. The company said the 802.11n routers can reduce latency by up to 50% within the mesh, and increase coverage areas up to 20%. The 7320 is the top-of-the line router and will be Tropos' flagship product, and it has a dual radio for connectivity in the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands. The router has Power-Over-Ethernet technology, but also has a traditional power cord and battery module for backup purposes. The 6320 is similar to the 7320, but it has a lighter design and doesn't have the flexible configuration that the company's flagship product has. The 6310 is the most economical of the three, but it only supports the 2.4-GHz band. The price of the routers varies by setup, but it starts at $2,995, and the company said it would be reducing the price of its other routers by about 30%. With its higher throughput and increased range, many businesses are looking at 802.11n equipment to replace their existing WLAN infrastructure. Companies like Cisco, Ruckus Wireless, and Meraki already have released enterprise-grade 802.11n access points, but it's unclear if businesses will upgrade quickly because of the economic downturn.
Using 802.11n offers businesses the opportunity to become truly unwired enterprises, but many questions still remain on the complexity of deployment, legacy equipment, and cost. InformationWeek has compiled a report to get businesses ready for 802.11n, and it can be downloaded here (registration required).
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