Nortel Networks has announced better voice capabilities, advanced security and location tracking in the latest version of its Wireless LAN 2300 system, which is based on Trapeze Networks' wireless switch.

For location tracking, Nortel has adopted Ekahau's software and tags, the same week as Trapeze Networks announced it was moving on with a hardware appliance for location tracking, that supports multiple vendors' tags. It is likely that Nortel's badged system is a couple of software versions behind the own-brand Trapeze system.

Like Trapeze's location system, the new Nortel one is aimed at the healthcare market. Release 5 ships in a few days, but is already in production use at one of two buildings at the ProMedica Health System campus in Toledo, Ohio. It is being used by doctors and other health professionals and office workers, said Cary Gene Houck, senior network engineer for the medical facility. While one building is running the new version, the other is running an older version, he said.

The new software has been used successfully for about a month to support secure guest data access to the Internet and will support voice over Wi-Fi capabilities when new handsets arrive sometime after July 1, according to Houck. The wireless LAN has proven invaluable for doctors carrying handhelds who need updates on the condition of patients, he said.

"Obviously, it gives us flexibility," Houck said. Nortel's service and support has been excellent, making the switch a natural choice, he added. "They've been a good company, and maybe we could buy them cheaper, but we've stuck with Nortel because of good service."

The software starts at $600 per access point (AP), with a minimum of 10 APs.

Matt Hamblen, Computerworld contributed to this story