World's First Wi-Fi Wall Outlet

Aug 30, 2004

Aruba Wireless Networks(TM) and Ortronics(R) Inc., a global leader in enterprise structured cabling systems, today announced they have developed the world's first Wi-Fi wall outlet. Financial details of the strategic development agreement were not disclosed.
The new patent-pending Wi-Jack(TM) Wi-Fi wall outlet will be marketed and manufactured by Ortronics and will integrate Aruba's next generation enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) technology directly into an office network wall outlet.

Wi-Fi (or Wi-fi, WiFi, Wifi, wifi), for "Wireless Fidelity", is a set of standards for wireless local area networks (WLAN) based on the IEEE 802.11 specifications. Certified products can use the official Wi-Fi logo, which indicates that the product is interoperable with any other product also showing the logo.

Wi-Fi was intended to be used for wireless devices and LANs, but is now often also used for Internet access. It enables a person with a wireless-enabled computer or personal digital assistant (PDA) to connect to the Internet by moving within, for example, 15 meters of an access point, called "hotspot".

Today, most access points (APs) are deployed in the ceiling at significant cost and on-going operational expense. By deploying Wi-Fi wall outlets as part of a structured wireless system, corporations can now cost-effectively build high-capacity, high performance wireless environments that can be easily managed from a central point.

The Enterprise Wi-Fi Dilemma

Conventional Wi-Fi technology currently in use by corporations does not allow companies to operate their wireless environment as a unified system. Each AP operates autonomously and provides a full set of features and functions that must be managed independently. This has made deploying Wi-Fi problematic due to operational costs, security concerns and management headaches.

Structured wireless networking, pioneered by Aruba and Ortronics, changes the model for enterprise wireless deployment. Structured wireless integrates AP functions into a centralized control system that coordinates the operation and optimization of the entire wireless environment. This provides a more cost-effective, manageable and secure model for building enterprise 802.11 networks.

"Ortronics and Aruba have combined our respective expertise in structured cabling and structured wireless networking to deliver the kind of innovation that makes history," said John Selldorff, chairman of Ortronics. "Aruba clearly understands what's going on in the trenches of enterprise wireless and has the only enterprise-class system to support the high-capacity wireless environments that Wi-Fi wall outlets now make possible. The Wi-Fi offering provides yet another choice for our customers when designing their structured cabling systems. "

The First Wi-Fi Wall Outlet

Ideal for high performance wireless deployments in new construction or retrofit environments, the new Wi-Jack Wi-Fi wall outlet integrates Aruba wireless access point technology.

Each Wi-Jack comes equipped with a single radio that provides either 802.11a (54 Mbps) or 802.11 b/g (11 and 54 Mbps) service. The Wi-Jack can also simultaneously function as an air monitor, giving IT staff a view into and control over the RF spectrum.

Ortronics is initially manufacturing two different versions of the Wi- Jack. One version provides two wired Ethernet connections with an Aruba AP integrated behind the cover and a second with only an Aruba AP and no additional Ethernet ports. Each Wi-Jack will connect to an Ortronics wireless controller, which utilizes Aruba's switching technology.

Once installed, the Wi-Jack is automatically configured and controlled by the wireless controller. From the controller, administrators can set transmit levels, alter channel assignments, provide the full range of security required for WLANs, toggle modes of operation, enforce user access controls and control many other attributes of the entire wireless network.

"Together with our partner Ortronics, we are revolutionizing the cost, deployment and performance models for enterprise wireless," said Don LeBeau, president and CEO of Aruba Wireless Networks. "Driving down the cost of wireless deployment and putting the control back in the hands of IT staff is the vision that we're committed to and a promise on which we are delivering."

Pricing and Availability

Availability of the new Wi-Jack is slated for the end of September. Detailed pricing and product details will be made available through Ortronics authorized distributors and/or certified installers at that time.

Advantages of Wi-Fi:
- Many reliable and bug-free Wi-Fi products on the market.
- Competition amongst vendors has lowered prices considerably since their inception.
- While connected on a Wi-Fi network, it is possible to move about without breaking the network connection.

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