News | May 11, 1999

3Com Launches WLAN Solutions, Partners with Symbol

In an effort to expand its presence in the wireless market, Santa Clara, CA-based 3Com has release its AirConnect solution for wireless local-area network (WLAN) applications. Using these products, engineers can establish wireless networks within offices, manufacturing plants, and buildings that deliver data rates up to 11 Mb/s.

The 3Com solution is comprised of four products, including access points, notebook PC Cards, desktop network interface cards (NICs), and network management software. The access point acts as a bridge between the wired network and up to 63 wireless clients. Affixed to a ceiling or wall, access points send and receive data from users within 200 ft. in a standard office environment. When users roam between access points, they are seamlessly handed off to the closest point with the strongest signal.

AirConnect WLAN access points support the simple network management protocol (SNMP). Network managers can use 3Com's Web-based access point administration tool to quickly monitor performance, change configuration or run diagnostics on any access point from anywhere on the network. For large installations, 3Com's network management software will provide standards-based, integrated management for configuring, analyzing, and troubleshooting 3Com network systems.

3Com AirConnect PC Cards and desktop NICs feature DynamicAccess Mobile Connection Manager software to provide simple configuration and diagnostics for both wired and wireless networks—saving time for IS managers and mobile users.

The 3Com AirConnect WLAN solution for enterprise customers is scheduled to be available in fall 1999. All 3Com AirConnect products will be compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows NT, and Windows CE systems. In addition, they will be interoperable with products based on the IEEE 802.11 and 802.11 high-rate (HR) standards.

Symbol pact
On a related note, 3Com has stuck a wireless networking accord with Symbol Technologies. Under the pact, Symbol and 3Com have co-developed an 11 Mb/s direct-sequence, spread-spectrum (DSSS) WLAN solution based on Symbol's WLAN technology. Symbol will market the 11 Mb/s solution under its Spectrum 24 solution set.