HP offers its first 802.11n access point

Hewlett-Packard's ProCurve networking unit Monday announced its first high-speed 802.11n access point based on its recent acquisition of Colubris Networks Inc.

The MSM410 access point for high-speed 802.11n wireless LANs features internal antennas, which make it appear more like a smoke detector when installed on a ceiling. "It's very discreet with no [external] antennas," said Tom Racca, ProCurve's senior mobility solutions strategist, in a telephone interview.

Managers at hotels, offices and health care facilities often want a less-obtrusive access point for use in rooms and hallways, Racca said.

The MSM410 will be available in January for US$649, he noted.

Racca, formerly of Colubris in Waltham, Mass., is one of more than 80 Colubris employees to join ProCurve as a result of the acquisition, which was finalized Oct. 1. Colubris' technology was integrated within ProCurve in less than 45 days, illustrating the value of using open standards in the technology, Racca said.

HP's ProCurve Manager software will be updated to automatically discover, map and initiate management of any Colubris product, as well as provide a single view of wired and wireless network topologies. The MSM410 can be added atop an 802.11 a/b/g network or installed by itself. It can also be used as a stand-alone device or dependent on a central controller, Racca said.

HP is extending its lifetime warranty for the new MSM410 and the existing line of 802.11 a/b/g access points from Colubris.

Other vendors have been launching 802.11n access points over the past year. Among them are Aruba Networks Inc., Meru Networks Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Motorola Inc. and Siemens.

Some in the industry expected a faster adoption of 802.11n gear. ABI Research recently said that 802.11n has reached only 3% of wireless LANs this year, but it will grow to nearly 20% in a year.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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