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Issue #2002 - 35 (September 2002)
(Updated Sep. 18, 2002)


Symbol Reduces Cost of Enterprise Wireless Networking Ownership With Mobius Centralized Architecture

HOLTSVILLE, N.Y. -- Sept. 9, 2002 -- Symbol Technologies, Inc., a leader in wireless mobile computing, today announced the Symbol Mobius™ Wireless System, that dramatically reduces deployment, management and technology upgrade costs associated with enterprise wireless network ownership. 

The new product is designed to deliver advanced wireless networking services and application-specific security to IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi™), 802.11a, 802.11g and legacy Symbol Spectrum24® (802.11 and 802.11b) wireless networks and mobile systems.

In the wireless LAN (local area network) market today, enterprise customers need to buy, integrate and manage separate products for application-specific wireless security, network management and wireless connectivity. Symbol has engineered all these capabilities into the Mobius Axon Wireless Switch, which centrally delivers wireless connectivity and features through low-cost Mobius Axon Access Ports.

In its first commercial deployment, the Mobius Wireless System demonstrated supporting more than 1,000 wireless users in public "hot spots" at the Georgia World Congress Center for NetWorld+Interop and COMDEX Atlanta 2002.

The Mobius Wireless System uniquely appeals to various enterprise market segments: 

The system provides investment protection to existing customers in retail, manufacturing, healthcare, government, transportation and logistics. It dramatically lowers initial investment costs for the emerging healthcare, hospitality, education and general office space markets, where expenditures for laptop PC wireless applications have traditionally been difficult to justify at current system costs. It reduces the technical, deployment and management challenges for Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) rolling-out Wi-Fi wireless "hot-spots." 

According to IDC, WLAN revenue will grow more than 20 percent annually during the next four years. "Between 2002 and 2005, companies worldwide will spend over $7 billion on WLAN equipment and over $40 billion on WLAN related services to provide their workers with wireless mobility," said Jason Smolek, IDC Research Analyst, Enterprise Networks and Wireless LANs. "WLAN vendors who can lower ownership costs by providing more consolidated features and functionality, and effectively address management, security and evolving wireless standards, will help organizations focus on improving work-flow operations with the kind of innovative applications that WLANs are designed to support." 

"We have achieved a level of innovation that has essentially moved wireless networking to its next generation," said Richard Bravman, Symbol Chief Executive Officer and Vice Chairman of the Board. "Until recently, a retail store with a pharmacy, for example, needed separate pieces of equipment to support and secure various in-store wireless mobile computing and POS (point-of-sale) applications. We have put all the essential capabilities into one system, so that organizations no longer need to buy separate pieces from multiple vendors, or costly pieces from one vendor, to achieve secure application-specific wireless networking." 

The Mobius Wireless System is a single wireless networking system that tightly integrates into the wired-enterprise network core and delivers advanced wireless services and connectivity to the network edge. This single system delivers centralized intelligence, management and security at the networking switch layer. The Symbol approach is significantly more economical when compared to enterprise-class 802.11b and 802.11a (or dual mode) WLAN access points and provides an intelligent adoption path for 802.11a and 802.11g. 

Through VLAN (virtual LAN) architecting and policy-based networking, the new Symbol system can allocate wireless bandwidth, security and networking services by device, by user, by application and by location, all from a single access port.

The Mobius Wireless System features two hardware components - the Mobius Axon Wireless Switch and Mobius Axon Access Ports - and a suite of software components, including the Symbol MobiusGuard™ security portfolio (featuring Symbol KeyGuard™ (enhanced TKIP), Kerberos authentication, IEEE 802.1x, EAP-TLS, EAP-TTLS with RADIUS, AirBEAM® Safe Wireless VPN, and planned VPN integration); AirBEAM Manager wireless network management; and the advanced wireless networking services currently available in Symbol Spectrum24 access points.

The Mobius Wireless System enhances mobility performance, quality of service (QoS), security, network (LAN) integration and class of service (CoS). The solution brings traditional networking practices to wireless networking by providing Layer-2, Layer-3 and Layer-4 switching, all controlled and managed by an elegant XML-based (Extensible Markup Language) or CLI (Command Line Interface) user interface. To provide investment protection for legacy Spectrum24 (802.11 Frequency Hopping and 802.11b) access points, Symbol can offer a migration path so that these access points can be adopted as Access Ports by the Mobius Axon Wireless Switch for additional security features and other networking services. 

The Mobius Axon Access Port, unlike existing enterprise-class access points, is a low-cost physical end-point for the wireless switch. The Access Port has a high performance, integrated omni-directional antenna (3.5 dBi), support for Power-over-Ethernet (POE) (IEEE 802.3af and available proprietary types), and Plenum-rated (fire retardant approved) plastic housing. The Access Port, with a single plug for Cat5/6-Ethernet cables (POE supported), requires no configuration and can be placed on the desktop, attached to the wall or mounted above or below most office ceiling tiles.

List Pricing and Availability
The Mobius Axon Wireless Switch, which can support up to 30 Mobius Axon Access Ports, ships with a base 6-port capable configuration for $2,895. Expanded port configuration options for the wireless switch include the following: 12-port capable for $3,719; 24-port capable for $5,367; and 30-port capable for $6,191. The Mobius Axon Access Port for IEEE 802.11b (Wi-Fi) wireless is $249 (list price) and is sold separately. The complete system will be orderable in November 2002. Symbol will release an IEEE 802.11a port in early 2003. 

For more information: www.symbol.com

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory:  We like the packaging of Mobius because it integrates several different connectivity modules - wireline and wireless into one. Symbol is strongly established in several vertical industries like retail, manufacturing and distribution well. Total cost of ownership is dependent on the support costs for diverse technologies in the enterprise infrastructure. This offering should, therefore, be attractive to customers in those industries where customers already have Symbol's hardware installed.

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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