Symbol has upgraded its WS-2000 branch switch system, with new access points that include 802.11g, as well as the 802.11a/b standards. The product also supports 802.11i security and other standards.

Symbol has arrived late at the 802.11g ball, because it has a different approach to its rivals, said director of product marketing Graham Melville: "802.11g was developed for the home market. We have been slower because we have had to bring it up to enterprise class and put our MAC onto it."

Start-up rivals such as Airespace, Aruba and Trapeze have brought out 802.11g more quickly because they use silicon designed for SOHO access points, he said. The fact that Symbol uses its own radios gives it faster roaming and better security (claims Melville), but means it lags in introducing features that are available in standalone access points.

Market research figures show that Symbol is at last getting competition for the top spot in wireless LAN switches, and have prompted a debate about architectures. Melville underlined Symbol's claim to radio superiority with a promise that his company gives fuller support for the 802.11h "harmonised" version of 802.11a, than earlier products from rivals.

While few products will wear an "802.11h" badge - to avoid confusing users - the standard includes a few tweaks to 802.11a, such as transmit power control (TPC) and dynamic frequency control (DFC), to avoid confusing our airport radars. 802.11a products should automatically shift to an 802.11h mode if used in Europe, but some will reduce bandwidth by simply shutting down potentially-disputed frequencies completely, rather than using dynamic control, said Melville.

Start-up vendors are unlikely to leave this claim unchallenged. Trapeze, for instance, claims 802.11h expertise in this White Paper.