Zoom Introduces Affordable 802.11 Standard Wireless LAN Product
Boston, MA, December 16,
1998 - With the release of three new products, Zoom Telephonics
has significantly lowered the cost for wireless local area
networks compatible with the IEEE 802.11 standard.
The ZoomAir PC Card Wireless NIC, ZoomAir ISA Wireless NIC,
and ZoomAir Access Point Software comprise the first three
members of the new ZoomAir product line. The Network Interface
Cards (NICs) have an estimated retail price of $299, well
below the price of similar products from other manufacturers.
The ZoomAir Access Point Software has an estimated retail
of $199, well below hardware access points typically retailing
for more than $800.
Zoom's IEEE 802.11 Direct Sequence
Spread Spectrum (DSSS) compliant products can interoperate
with wired 10BaseT or 100BaseT Ethernet in large enterprises,
and can also provide an excellent solution as a primary LAN
for smaller networks. ZoomAir products enable peer-to-peer
and Ethernet network access at up to 2 Mbps over a range of
up to 300 feet indoors and over 1,000 feet in outdoor settings.
"We believe that 802.11 DSSS standard products
are the right choice for most people selecting a wireless
LAN", said Frank Manning, President of Zoom Telephonics.
"The 802.11 standard assures interoperability in a wide
range of environments including offices, homes, factories
and schools. And 802.11 gives the customer lots of choices
for equipment, software, and suppliers."
ZoomAir NICs make any Windows 95/98 or NT4 notebook, laptop,
or desktop PC into a wireless networked workstation. ZoomAir
products operate in the 2.4 GHz Instrumentation, Medical,
and Scientific (ISM) radio frequency band and are based on
the Harris Radio Prism chipset. The ISM radio frequency is
less affected by interference than wireless solutions that
operate at lower frequencies. The 2.4 GHz band is also much
less affected by common physical barriers such as walls or
people passing between communicating units.
performance features of the ZoomAir NICs include intelligent
power control, with a power-saving standby mode to maximize
laptop battery life, and Flash memory for easy upgrades.
In addition to certification to U.S. FCC Parts 15B and 15C,
and Canadian Specification RSS210, Issue 3, ZoomAir radio
transceivers (network interface cards) have successfully passed
European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) testing.
Zoom's wireless LAN products will be approved for use in at
least 14 European countries and the Americas.
security concerns are addressed through Wired Equivalency
Privacy (WEP), which provides 40-bit data encryption. In addition,
Direct Sequence Spread Spectrum is inherently difficult to
monitor using surveillance equipment because it breaks the
data signal into multiple, fluctuating frequency bands that
are difficult to decode.
ZoomAir Access Point Software
provides a low-cost bridge between wired and wireless networks,
extends the range of wireless networks and increases the total
system capacity. Zoom's Access Point Software also includes
Internet sharing with firewall security to allow all wireless
and wired network users to access a single Internet connection.
Any PC running Windows 95/98 or NT4.0 which is also equipped
with a ZoomAir NIC and ZoomAir Access Point software can become
an access point.
When ZoomAir is used in ad hoc (peer-to-peer)
mode, ZoomAir Access Point Software is not required to provide
Internet sharing. A variety of Internet sharing software packages
can also be used, including: Sygate, RideWay, or I.Share.
The 802.11 DSSS standard currently supports a data rate
of 2 Mbps with collision avoidance. Collision avoidance increases
network throughput to an effective data rate greater than
a wired 2 Mbps network using collision detection. Future generations
of standards-compatible DSSS products from Zoom are expected
to have data rates up to 11 Mbps with backward compatibility
to 2 Mbps products.
Additional advantages of ZoomAir
wireless networks over wired networks include:
- Mobility. ZoomAir provides users with real-time network
access anywhere in the range of their network peers or access
points. It's ideal for conference rooms, hospital buildings,
school campuses, warehouses, and manufacturing areas.
- Ease of installation. The ZoomAir Wireless PC Card supports
existing network software and appears to a PC as a wired
10BaseT Ethernet NIC. Wireless networks can be set up without
the expense and disruption of pulling cable through walls,
floors, and ceilings. Furthermore, wireless technology enables
the network to operate anywhere within the range of the
system, often where wire cannot go.
- Easy moves. The wireless LAN connection moves with the
PC. In addition, an entire wireless network easily moves
to a new location.
- Reduced cost of ownership. Overall installation expenses
and life-cycle costs of a wireless LAN can be significantly
lower than that of a wired LAN, especially in dynamic environments
requiring frequent moves and changes.
- Scalability. Zoom's wireless LAN can be configured in
a variety of topologies to meet the needs of specific applications
and installations. Configurations are easily changed and
range from peer-to-peer networks suitable for a small number
of users to full infrastructure networks of thousands of
users that enable roaming over a broad area.
Zoom Telephonics, a communications leader since 1977, designs,
produces and markets Wireless LAN products, faxmodems, ISDN
products and other products that link people and their personal
computers through the world's largest network, the international
telephone network, and connected networks including the Internet
and corporate local area networks. Zoom Telephonics is publicly
traded on NASDAQ (NASDAQ: ZOOM).
Zoom products are produced in Boston, Massachusetts and sold
For more information about ZoomAir or other
Zoom products, call toll-free at 800-631-3116 or visit the
Zoom Website at www.zoomtel.com