Colubris Networks has released the InMotion MSC 5000 series of multiservice controllers meant to integrate wired and wireless networks for easier management and deployment. The MSC-5500 is engineered for large campus and enterprise deployments and scales to 200 wireless access points serving thousands of users, while the MSC-5200 is aimed at small offices and remote locations with the ability to support up to 25 wireless access points and hundreds of users. Colubris claims its TriPlane architecture delivers a 5X improved scalability of managed wireless access points over conventional wireless LAN switches. Both products will be available in July.
The last several weeks have seen a trio of new developments in wireless analysis tools to help network managers audit and map their wireless coverage:
Managed services are gaining popularity in a variety of technology areas, so it's perhaps no surprise that WiTopia.Net has announced its SecureMyWiFi managed service for business, where WiTopia provides hosted systems and Radius servers to secure wireless networks and encrypt all users' wireless data whether employees are home-based or located in offices around the globe. The company claims the hosted approach is easier to deploy and cheaper to maintain than do-it-yourself wireless LANs.
In other product news:
In hot-spot news, Boingo Wireless customers now have access to an additional 3,400 Wi-Fi hot spots in the SBC Communications FreedomLink network, including airports, business hotels, and Barnes and Noble, Caribou Coffee and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, The UPS Store, and Mail Box Etc. locations. Boingo also now offers hot-spot service in Boston's Logan International Airport. With these additions, business travelers can now use their Boingo account to access 18,000 Wi-Fi hot spots worldwide.
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ABI: Nextel, Verizon Square Off on Enterprise Location Services
Over the past few years, Nextel has solidified its position as the premier provider of handset-based commercial telematics in North America. While AT&T Wireless, Cingular, Verizon, and T-Mobile had focused primarily on the consumer segment, Nextel maintained the lion's share of commercial subscribers. But in the past quarter, Verizon has announced its own plans for a fleet-management offering. ABI Research expects Verizon to begin deploying its field force and fleet management solutions this fall. "Nextel now faces some competition from Verizon in the enterprise location based-services market, but both will experience significant growth simply because of the vast addressable market," says ABI Research analyst David Schrier.
The market segment Nextel and Verizon are targeting with their handset-based solutions is short-haul trucking, which includes delivery vehicles, maintenance and field- service workers, mobile sales forces, and other mobile workforces. Nextel, already an entrenched player in this market, is partnered with a number of third party application providers, including @Road, Gearworks, Televigation, and Xora to deliver focused commercial telematics services to customers.
"By entering these markets from the handset side, Verizon can gain expertise in the functionality their clients demand and add future integration with the vehicle to move into more traditional commercial telematics segments, such as long-haul trucking," adds Schrier. "The entry of new mobile operators down the telematics value chain is a significant threat to the aggregators of cellular networks in North America."
IMS: Bluetooth/UWB Collaboration a Plus
Earlier this month, the Bluetooth SIG announced it would work with UWB developers to combine the strengths of the two technologies. IMS Research believe this collaboration is set to guarantee the success of both Bluetooth and UWB. Each technology will undoubtedly benefit from this move. Bluetooth is set to take advantage of UWB high data rates and UWB from the technological maturity, valuable brand and qualification program of Bluetooth. The ultimate goal of the agreement is for the groups presence to work towards an architecture that allows devices to take advantage of UWB data rates while maintaining backward compatibly with Bluetooth devices.
With a focus on user experience, this will greatly be improved by the ability to offer applications with the high data rates that UWB can offer. However, challenges still remain, IMS says. Perhaps most notably, an agreement needs to be made between the two competing UWB technologies backed by different organizations, both of which the Bluetooth SIG will work with.
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