Proxim plans to buck the standards
Non-standard WiMax, and no hurry for 802.11n
By Peter Judge, Techworld | Techworld | Published: 12:54, 01 September 2008
We do not intend to go down the wireless LAN switching route. There's enough competition there, and it's dominated by one single player - Cisco has 70 percent. The second player has less than ten points of market share.
For us, it's much better to be in markets that are more fragmented. That's true of the WiMax market and especially the point-to-point market.
But you need to keep your access point fresh.
We've got to do 11n - it's part of the DNA, and it doesn't take a lot to do it. There is no alternative to it. Also, 11n is going to drive a resurgence of the fat AP.
Centralised switching made sense at a time when the wireless speeds were slow, so you didn't need big switches. Now, you need 80Gig switches, and they cost real money.The other reason for wireless LAN switches was, the standards weren't baked in terms of actual deployment. Encryption and security hadn't been finalised. Companies like Aruba and Airespace said "We don't care which you are going to use - we've got it all in one box."
But now it's six years later. People have decided how they are going to deploy wireless.
You're not in a hurry to do 11n then? Everyone else has it already.
We are in a hurry for 11n - but the total market for 802.11abg far outstrips the 11n market today, and will do so for the rest of the year. After September, shipments of 11n will slow down, because the schools are done [education is leading the 11n charge, and school and installations happen during the summer holidays]. We'll go back to a slow adoption, with testing in the enterprises.
So it is not in our interest to overhang our current product set. We're going to announce 11n the day before we actually ship it.
802.11n is going to be massive, but the next six months is nothing - it's more important to get it right. This isn't a six month window, it's a six year game. If you don't get it right, you're dead.
What about Trapeze as part of Belden? Can it remain a player, and will it keep its contracts with Nortel and 3Com?
The big challenge for Belden is to make sure they keep the talent. If they can stay on the cutting edge - then yes. But if not, it will become apparent very quickly. Nortel and 3Com have the reach to get the big deals. If they can't get them, they aren't going to stick around.