Meru 802.11n Access Point Targets Enterprises

Entry-level wireless LAN offering links remote offices with corporate networks.

W. David Gardner, Contributor

November 4, 2010

2 Min Read

Meru Networks has introduced a $395 entry-level 802.11n access point aimed at enterprises, in another indication that deliveries of the robust "n" version of Wi-Fi access points show no signs of slowing.

The AP100i product line, announced Thursday, seeks to leverage Meru’s earlier Single-Channel, Virtual Port and Virtual Cell technologies. The company is promoting the low price of the AP100i and its ease-of-installation as important factors in its growing 802.11n portfolio.

“(Enterprises) are demanding simple, reliable, seamless and efficient WLAN solutions to integrate remote offices into their corporate networks,” said Ram Appalaraju, Meru’s senior vice president of marketing, as he outlined the features of the AP100i that he believes will appeal to enterprise installations.

The new product can be managed by centralized IT departments as well as by service providers, and provides branch-to-core security with integrated rogue mitigation and intrusion prevention, the company said.

Earlier this week, ABI Research released a report noting that Wi-Fi access point shipments are growing with a particular surge in shipments credited to 802.11n products. The market research firm said while total worldwide Wi-Fi access point shipments grew 6% in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, 802.11n devices increased by 15% in the same period. “In both consumer and enterprise sectors, demand for 802.11n product is growing rapidly,” said ABI Research director Philip Solis in a statement. “In the second quarter, 802.11n products were the key drivers of Wi-Fi equipment market growth.” ABI Research also noted that intense competition in the field is causing prices for Wi-Fi devices to drop.

Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous for a number of reasons, but largely because the unlicensed technology enables smartphone and laptop users to employ the wireless technology usually free-of-charge. With its long reach -- as much as three miles for some products -- 802.11n is attracting a new category of uses.

ABI Research said Cisco is the enterprise market share leader with an estimated 54% share, followed by Aruba’s 13% share. D-Link leads the consumer Wi-Fi access point market with a 19% share.


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