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Alcatel Enters Enterprise WLAN Market

The enterprise WLAN market became more crowded Monday as French telecom infrastructure vendor Alcatel announced it is shipping wireless switches, appliances and access points. It said it will add voice-over-WLAN phones to its lineup later this year.

The company said in a statement that its wireless switches, appliances and access points are being offered under the OmniAccess brand. The company said the equipment is 802.11i-ready and can handle 802.11a/b/g. That security standard is expected to be ratified by the IEEE this summer.

Alcatel also announced its new Mobile IP Touch wireless phones. The phones will use 802.11b to provide voice service of WLANs.

Reports circulating among several Web sites Monday indicated that Alcatel's first round of WLAN offerings consists of rebranded equipment from WLAN vendor Airespace. Alcatel was unavailable for comment.

The OmniAccess 4000 wireless switch will start at $8,250, the company said. Its OmniAccess 4100 wireless appliance will start at $13,685 and its OmniAccess 1200 access points will start at $400. The Mobile IP Touch phones will ship this summer.