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Symbol, Cisco Liven Up Wireless Networking Offerings

Rival wireless networking vendors Symbol Technologies and Cisco Systems are beefing up their portfolios with new products that offer higher capacity and improve security.

Symbol, Holtsville, N.Y., this week plans to roll out the AP300 802.11a/b/g access point and an upgrade to its WS2000 wireless switch that adds support for IPsec VPN and the Wi-Fi Protected Access 2 (WPA2) security protocol.

>> Symbol, Cisco are both taking the wraps off
new 802.11a/b/g access points.

Jeff Lem, CEO of Qdata, a Toronto-based solution provider that carries both Cisco and Symbol products, said a Symbol offering for a main office and four branches could cost as little as $5,000 depending on configuration. A similar Cisco solution costs around $10,000, Lem said.

"[SMBs] don't have a big IT staff in the field. This is a no-brainer for a grocery or retail store with branch offices," Lem said, noting that he expects his Symbol sales to be up 70 percent this year after a 300 percent jump the preceding year.

The new Symbol WS2000 version 1.5 is priced at $999. The AP300, priced at $349, features 108-Mbps throughput, up from 11-Mbps on the older Symbol access points.

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