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Nortel Boosts Voice Over Wireless LAN Capabilities

Nortel this week announced 802.11e support for its wireless LAN system, including access points and switches, and introduced a new wireless VoIP handset. The vendor also detailed two partnerships that will add real-time location tracking and security capabilities to its WLAN platform.

Nortel leverages the heavy lifting of its partners SpectraLink and Trapeze Networks by announcing its upgrades during HIMSS, the biggest health-care technology show of the year. SpectraLink, in the process of being acquired by Polycom, announced earlier this year a new multiband (802.11a/b/g) Vo-Fi handset that includes support for WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia), a standard for QoS. While other press reports have suggested there will be support for WMM Power Save and WMM Admission Control, Nortel's press release suggests neither. Moreover, only WMM Power Save is a Wi-Fi standards element, and neither SpectraLink nor Nortel's version are actually Wi-Fi certified. Nortel has partnerships on the WLAN infrastructure side, too. Nortel formed a strategic partnership with Trapeze after it had to discard Airespace when it was purchased by Cisco Systems. Trapeze announced its asset-tracking appliance on Monday, and Nortel was quick on its heels to announce what is essentially the same thing. Trapeze has had relationships with Ekahau and AirDefense for quite some time, so it's no surprise that Nortel talks about them in the press release, too. Same stuff, different packaging.
Frank Bulk
NWC Contributing Technology Editor, Mobility

The new voice quality features based on IEEE 802.11e standards are available on the Nortel Wireless LAN 2300 Series. The new capabilities will help ensure that voice quality is maintained even in the face of heavy data traffic on a wireless network.

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