Extricom has launched a four-radio wireless access point, that lets the company's "channel blanket" architecture handle more wireless devices simultaneously.

The EXRP40 access point has four 802.11abg radios, and connect to the company's switch, offering four non-overlapping channels over the whole area covered by the network, thanks to the blanket architecture that Extricom launched two years ago.

Extricom says this is the first four-radio access point, but others have had multiple radios before. Extricom's rival in blanket Wi-Fi, Meru, announced a twelve-channel monster two years ago, but preferred to describe it as a wireless switch - it was intended to operate standalone. Similarly, Xirrus' XS-3990 is a giant device which includes 16 separate access points, each covering a different sector.

By contrast, Extricom's four-radio AP is the same size as its previous two-radio models. The four radios can increase capacity, and one of them can be used as a dedicated security probe for all the channels in operation.

Unlike other smaller enterprise Wi-Fi vendors such as Colubris, Extricom has not gone for the draft 802.11n standard, even now the Wi-Fi Alliance is branding draft N products.

"Our architecture is fully applicable to 802.11n as well as 802.11abg, and 802.11n is on our roadmap, but our intention is to operate within current standards" said David Confalonieri, vice president of marketing at Extricom. "Our channel blankets can outgun cell-based 802.11n systems."

In fact, 802.11n, with its wide 40MHz channels, could wreck non-blanket Wi-Fi systems, he said - at least in the 2.4GHz band, where it reduces the number of non-overlapping channels from three to one, and makes it impossible for every access point to have a different channel to the next one.

Extricom's reason for waiting on 802.11n is the stability of the standard - contrary to everyone else's opinions - said Confalonieri: "There are 3000 comments [to the draft standard] outstanding. We will play ball, but we want to see how it plays out in actual deployments."