Wireless Next Generation Architecture Will Bridge the Gap between Wi-Fi and RFID to Create the Industry Reference for "RF Switching"

Symbol Technologies, Inc., The Enterprise Mobility Company(tm), today announced plans to bring to market its innovative Wireless Next Generation (Wi-NG) architecture to help businesses cost-effectively deploy and centrally manage wireless voice, data and infrastructure devices throughout the RF spectrum. The architecture enables the consolidation of Wi-Fi, RFID, VoWLAN (Voice over Wireless LAN), mesh and WiMAX networks in the industry's first integrated RF switching platform. With this new architecture, customers can achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and lay the foundation for the next generation of productivity applications. Additionally, Symbol's Wi-NG architecture will enable Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC), further powering the next generation of enterprise mobility.

Symbol's Wi-NG architecture will apply the same innovative concept of centralized wireless switching to RFID for improved security, manageability and scalability. By 2009, the RFID market will reach $2.5 billion1 and the enterprise WLAN market will grow to $2.9 billion.2 Rather than continue to build separate networks, Symbol will help customers consolidate both to create a RF switched domain that integrates both environments.

 "With a rich history of experience and innovation in wireless and mobility, Symbol is uniquely positioned to forecast what is next for the enterprise and change the face of the wireless industry," said Anthony Bartolo, vice president and general manager of Symbol's Wireless Infrastructure and RFID Divisions. "Wi-NG is the blueprint to build a fourth-generation network, and represents the next step in Symbol's enterprise mobility strategy - enabling organizations to capture data; move the information with applications on Symbol's Wi-Fi network; and securely manage the entire system."

Next Generation Wireless Switching to Take Business Efficiency to New Heights

Symbol's Wi-NG will serve as the architecture that enables a RF switching domain to address the adoption and convergence of Wi-Fi networks and emerging RF technologies such as RFID. Businesses will be able to deploy an integrated RFID system with the proven security and scalability of a Wi-Fi network. Additionally, Wi-NG will give businesses the ability to expand their Wi-Fi networks beyond the four walls with a centrally managed mesh network, as well as enhanced security, management and wireless integration features.

For organizations such as BP, RF switching can ease the manageability of various wireless technologies used for business operations. "At BP, we believe technology can make a significant impact on the enterprise. We focus on a few technologies with immediate impact that will also benefit long-term business needs," said Mike Haley, CTO office for BP's digital and communication technology team. "The integration of current and emerging RF communications for large industrial sites could yield greater efficiencies for business operations."

The cornerstone of the Wi-NG architecture is the modular Linux-based operating system that provides a separation between infrastructure, services, application and management layers. "Symbol has a history of innovation in enterprise wireless dating back to 1989 when we introduced the first wireless LAN, and again in 2002 with the industry's first wireless switch," said Sujai Hajela, vice president of engineering of Symbol's Wireless Infrastructure Division. "The layered Wi-NG architecture is an engineering concept leap that takes advantage of multiple hardware platforms and multiple-processor systems to enable scalable, high-performance wireless solutions required by the next generation of enterprise mobility."

The Wi-NG architecture includes integrated RF management features to monitor and manage wireless devices throughout the spectrum to ensure maximum up-time and peak performance of the network system, as well as plan, evaluate and monitor the Wi-Fi network. Symbol's RF management with Wireless Intrusion Protection System (Wireless IPS) enables businesses to extend location-based services throughout the enterprise, and quickly locate devices and disarm potential threats, providing 24-by-7 protection against unauthorized access and malicious attacks on the Wi-Fi network.

The Wi-NG architecture also enables Layer 3 roaming to handle multi-floor or large-scale campus-wide deployments. Layer 3 roaming is achieved without compromising the performance, connectivity and device power conservation required for business-critical wireless application deployment. This allows mobile users to maintain connectivity as they roam throughout the enterprise for a seamless voice and video application deployment.

Symbol's Wi-NG will serve as the foundation for Fixed-Mobile Convergence (FMC) for the enterprise, providing persistent connectivity to dual-mode cellular/Wi-Fi handheld devices. Wi-NG will enable FMC by supporting current and emerging broadband wireless technologies, including 802.11n, WiMAX, GPRS, EV-DO, and integrate multiple Wi-Fi networks in a LAN. Dual-mode VoIP phones will switch back-and-forth seamlessly between the Wi-Fi network and the cellular carrier for the user to take advantage of the best available connection.

Later this year, Symbol's award-winning WS5100 wireless switch will be the first product to leverage the Wi-NG architecture. The WS5100 wireless switch will offer switch-assisted 802.11 mesh networking, allowing businesses to use their access points to securely extend the perimeter of wireless coverage to locations previously too expensive or physically difficult to wire.

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