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October 02, 2006

3Com's New Wired/WiFi Switch for SMBs

By Johanne Torres, TMCnet Contributing Editor

If your business has up to 250 employees and you’ve been dreaming about finding a switch that just “does it all,” but your budget is extremely limited, you’re in luck. 3Com today introduced the 3Com (News - Alert) Unified Gigabit Wireless PoE Switch 24, which the company describes as the industry’s first unified switch targeted at small and medium businesses that converges wired and wireless networking functionality and includes Power over Ethernet (PoE) to support VoIP telephony on a single platform; all under $3,000.

The new switch features full, layer 2 line rate gigabit speeds with zero packet loss across all 24 ports; full 802.3af Power over Ethernet support available on each of its 24 ports; auto-voice VLAN capability; 802.1X authentication; wireless WPA2 security and AES encryption; rogue wireless access point detection and mitigation; wireless fast roaming and automatic load balancing across managed APs; and support for upcoming standards such as 802.11n.

“Our partners and end users are constantly looking for differentiated solutions to help them compete effectively and operate efficiently. The convergence of wired and wireless voice and data communications and security enable new levels of interaction with customers, employees and business partners that fuel increased productivity and success,” said Nikos Koutsoukos, director of product line management for SMB at 3Com, in a statement. “The 3Com Unified Switch for SMBs delivers unparalleled functionality to power a converged network. It is another proof point in 3Com’s commitment to delivering an end-to-end portfolio of secure, converged solutions for organizations of all sizes.”

3Com plans to make the switch available for $2,750 on Nov. 1. The switch could possibly be compared to systems sold by 3Com market competitor Cisco, which retail for about $20,000. However, despite the huge difference in price, other differences do pop up. Opposite to the new 3Com Unified Gigabit Wireless PoE Switch 24, Cisco’s integrated wired/wireless switches operate via two separate systems, have two different IP addresses, as well as two command line interfaces.

3Com Corporation

What’s the number one VoIP conference in terms of attendance? What’s the leading VoIP expo for exhibitors in terms of lead generation? And which VoIP industry event will feature special attractions for service providers, resellers, and the enterprise and SMB market as well as an overview on the Future of IP Telephony? Answer: INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & Expo, WEST, which runs October 10-13, 2006. See you in San Diego!


Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet and INTERNET TELEPHONY magazine. To see more articles by Johanne Torres, please visit her columnist page.


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