Company revamps wireless LAN line for notebook users

Expecting more demand for wireless computing, Bay Networks Inc. has rebranded the
AirSurfer wireless LAN products it acquired in a $10 million purchase of NetWave
Technologies Inc. of Pleasanton, Calif., earlier this year as the BayStack 600 series.


The deal gave the Santa Clara, Calif., company a line of standards-based wireless LAN
products that connect notebook users at up to 2-Mbps throughout an office or campus, said
Doug Makishima, Bay Networks’ product line manager for wireless LANs.


NetWave’s resellers had placed its AirSurfer products in a few military bases and
Veterans Affairs Department hospitals, Makishima said. He said he expects more interest
after the rebranded BayStack 600 series arrives on Bay’s General Services
Administration Information Technology Schedule contracts.


The series consists of a wireless access point that attaches to a wired Ethernet
backbone, plus PC Card network interfaces that operate in either frequency-hopping or
direct-sequence, spread-spectrum radio mode. An access point can handle 10 to 20 users and
has 300-foot coverage in an office environment, or up to 2,000 feet in an open space.


The BayStack 650 network interface card hops rapidly and randomly between frequencies
in the 2.4-GHz band to provide a degree of security and protect against interference. It
has 1-Mbps bandwidth. Its access point supports 10 to 15 users of the 650 cards over a
typical office range of 225 feet.


The BayStack 660 card operates in direct sequence, spreading its entire signal over 11
channels to speed transmission and minimize interference. It gives 2 Mbps of bandwidth.
The access point can handle up to 20 users of 660 cards over an indoor range up to 300
feet.


A utility included with the 600 series shows the status of wireless connections to
determine where access points should be.


The BayStack 650 card is priced at $499 and its access point at $1,499. The 660 card is
$569 and its access point $1,799.


Contact Bay Networks at 800-822-9638.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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