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Motorola Shows Support-Oriented Flexibility With Latest 802.11n Offering

Motorola casts a big shadow across a number of wireless niches. The communications giant dominates the public safety communications market, and it has scored a body blow in the battle for smart phone supremacy with the Droid franchise, and it's 802.11-based wireless products continue their impressive evolution. I recently caught up with Dr. Amit Sinha of Motorola's Enterprise Mobility Solutions unit to talk about his group's latest offering and Motorola's competitive differentiators when it comes to Wi-Fi client access.

The recently-introduced AP 6511 802.11n Wall Plate Access Point builds on Motorola's philosophy of easy installation, flexible management options and recognition that most wireless problems tend to be client-specific. The AP 6511 is a 2 x 2 MIMO AP that easily leverages the existing data cable plant in dorms, hotels and hospitals by mounting "hide in sight" fashion in current communications outlet locations.

The AP 6511 preserves functionality of CATV, Ethernet and  RJ-11 phone jacks by providing configuration options to accommodate pass-through of services where needed. Power options include standard PoE or an external power supply, the low-profile form factor is likely not to turn heads- a desirable goal in many environments.

The new 6511 itself should serve Motorola customers well, and will no doubt help land new business as more environments rush to meet client demand for wireless while squeezing value out of their legacy investments in data wiring. But the 6511 is just a small part of Motorola's wireless story. As I spoke with Dr. Sinha, I couldn't help but think "Wow, this guy really gets it," when it comes to understanding not only how to get signal to wireless clients, but just as importantly what those of us on the system administration side of life really need when it  comes to supporting the WLAN.

Any 6511 can serve as a master for a cluster of up to 25 APs, bringing the benefits of a central controller without the cost. Or they can be managed by Motorola's RFS controllers for scalability into the thousands because all components are built on the company's Wi-NG operating system. As with any other contemporary Motorola access point,  the 6511 radios can be repurposed as AirDefense sensors for spectrum analysis and troubleshooting, a feature that competes with Cisco's recently announced Clean Air feature and Aruba's SA utility set.

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