Motorola pushes secured wireless LAN into enterprise

Motorola, with the close of its acquisition of AirDefense at the end of last month, is wasting no time integrating AirDefense's wireless security technology into its wireless LAN access points.

Motorola, with the close of its acquisition of AirDefense at the end of last month, is wasting no time integrating AirDefense's wireless security technology into its wireless LAN access points.

Today, as part of the company's announcement of a hardware-based wireless intrusion prevention system built into its wireless access points, Motorola noted that it's not only eliminating the clutter of unnecessary wires but also the need for an added layer of hardware that was once needed to secure the LAN.

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It marks a turning point for enterprise customers who are looking at wireless networking solutions as a way of not only identifying potential cost savings but also delivering throughput that exceeds traditional ethernet.  With the arrival of 802.11n technology, networks can now wirelessly move data at the rate of 300 megabits per second, compared to the 100 megabits per second in Ethernet and 54 megabits per second of previous "a" and "g" versions of 802.11.

It's also worth noting that Motorola's security features not only protect the network from intrusions but also allow administrators to monitor where potential compromises exist. If a foreign wireless access point were connected to the network and enabled unsecured access to the network, administrators would be able to quickly identify and remove it.

When I met with Motorola, I asked how they planned to talk to potential customers about making an investment while so many companies are being asked to make cutbacks. The short answer was that enterprise customers are more often asking about wireless LANs as a way of reducing costs of installing hard-wired networks while increasing data throughput speeds. At the enterprise level, the common theme is trying to do more with less. Separately, research firm IDC said this week that the worldwide wireless LAN semiconductor market is expected to pass the $4 billion mark by 2012 with a compound annual growth rate of 22.8%. Personal computers remain the largest application segment for WLAN semiconductors, with 802.11n technology serving as the next growth driver, there's opportunity for new applications and usage models.

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