Extreme Networks has introduced a Wi-Fi 6E (extended) access points for outdoor spaces that the vendor said will target high-density environments.
The new high-speed AP5050 offers wireless connectivity optimized for use cases such as densely packed venues. It can support bandwidth-intensive applications and devices with up to 1,200 MHz of spectrum to ensure the quality of service (QoS) that users in compact environments need for better experiences.
Wi-Fi 6E access points began hitting the market in 2021. The technology operates in the 6GHz band, which was opened up in April 2020 by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for unlicensed use in the United States. The “E” or expansion more than doubles the amount of RF spectrum available for Wi-Fi use.
Extreme said it’s the first enterprise vendor to offer a Wi-Fi 6E product designed for the outdoors.
[Related: Extreme Networks CEO: Beating Cisco An ‘Exclamation Mark’ On Fiscal Year 2022 ]ADVERTISEMENT
The tech giant, now headquartered in Morrisville, N.C., has long counted some of the largest sports teams and public venues in the U.S. as customers, including the Green Bay Packers, New England Patriots, and Seattle Seahawks, and 16 Major League Baseball parks. Extreme said the new access point can enhance the end user experience in large outdoor environments such as these arenas and venues with faster speeds and reduced interference.
The AP5050 will also allow these customers to future-proof their networks because their infrastructure will be able to support bandwidth-intensive applications and IoT devices, while creating a foundation to monetize new mobile services.
Wi-Fi 6E presents a “significant opportunity” for the channel thanks to the speed, bandwidth, capacity and security that 6E technology offers, said Scott Peterson, senior vice president of global channel sales and Extreme’s channel chief who joined the company this year.
“We believe being first to market once again not only demonstrates Extreme’s innovation but gives our partners a competitive advantage when it comes to offering differentiated solutions,” Peterson said in an email to CRN. “Additionally, where it’s the first 6E AP for outdoors, it will open up the addressable market for our channel partners to sell new use cases to schools, hospitals, convention centers, stadiums and other large venues.”
The latest access point works with the vendor’s popular ExtremeCloud IQ cloud management platform that it introduced in 2019 after it closed on its $210 million acquisition of Aerohive Networks. Via ExtremeCloud IQ, the AP5050 can be managed from one place, giving customers and partners visibility into network performance and the health and security of the device. The management platform also provides insights and analytics around app usage and efficiency of venue operations, according to Extreme.
On the security front, the AP5050 includes a tri-frequency sensor that scans full-time for rogue devices. The access point also supports the latest Wi-Fi Alliance WPA3 security certification, a stateful DPI firewall for context-based access, and Private Pre-Shared Key (PPSK) to secure IoT environments.
Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at [email protected].
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