Linksys Ships a $299 Dual-Band 802.11a + 802.11b Wireless Access Point

Linksys Ships a $299 Dual-Band 802.11a + 802.11b Wireless Access Point


Linksys®, a leading global manufacturer of broadband, wireless, and networking hardware for the Small/Medium Business (SMB) corporate sector, Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) and home environments, today announced the Instant Wireless™ Dual-Band Wireless Access Point (WAP51AB), combining two wireless access points into one to communicate with both 802.11a and 802.11b wireless network devices. Its simultaneous dual-band support protects investments in widely deployed 802.11b wireless infrastructure operating in the 2.4GHz frequency band while allowing a growth path to the newer, higher-speed 802.11a wireless products that deliver nearly five times the data transfer rate in the 5GHz band.

Linksys President and CEO Victor Tsao said, “Our new Dual-Band Wireless Access Point marries the two 802.11 standards, allowing wireless technology to evolve quickly and compatibly to fulfill its market potential. And it’s at a price that everyone can afford.”

Since the dual-band AP mediates effortlessly between wireless clients in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, wireless infrastructures deploying the dual-band AP requires no costly upgrades to support mixed 802.11 environments. Corporate workgroups operating on previously incompatible –11a and –11b systems will now be able to access each other’s resources, and mobile workers and telecommuters connecting to different access points at different locations no longer need to carry more than one wireless card. Public wireless Internet access in airports and coffee shops using the dual-band AP will also be able to attract heavier customer traffic and save on hardware costs at the same time by supporting both types of clients with one device.

The Instant Wireless Dual-Band Wireless Access Point provides wireless security through 152-bit WEP encryption and MAC Address Filtering, which uses a “VIP list” of pre-registered MAC addresses created by the access point’s owner to lock out all rogue users. The easy-to-use Setup Wizard and Web-based configuration allow the dual-band AP to be set up in minutes, and its LAN port identifies cable types to automatically accommodate straight-through or crossover CAT5 Ethernet cables.

Pricing and Availability

The Instant Wireless Dual-Band Wireless Access Point (WAP51AB) will ship this week for an estimated street price of $299, with no additional costs for accessories or services and free 24×7, Grade “A”-rated technical support (PC Magazine, August, 2002). The dual-band wireless AP will be available through retailers, e-commerce sites, business solution providers and distributors nationwide.

The WAP51AB complements Linksys’ award-winning Instant Wireless Series, which includes the most comprehensive 802.11b product line on the market and an 802.11a product line. Linksys is the leading provider of wireless products, with 60% 2002 YTD revenue market share in the retail channel (NPD Techworld, June, 2002).