Foundry Networks has launched wireless LAN access points and software to help increase the connection capacity and security of wireless networks.

With a new location-management offering as well, Foundry said the new products will help companies simplify WLAN deployment and management, and run services such as VoIP and location-tracking on a single 802.11 infrastructure.

Foundry's IronPort Mobility AP150 access point, based on technology from Meru Networks, can support up to 120 WLAN connections, useful for large public spaces or high-traffic areas.

The IronPort Mobility Radio Switch 4000 is an even beefier WLAN access point, with built-in dual 802.11a and 802.11g radios, and support for as many as 256 connections.

These devices, combined with IronPort Wireless Location Manager 2.02 software, let users deploy such services as rogue-access-point detection, and employee- or asset-tracking.

The AP150 and 4000 provide multiple-radio coverage and the ability to deploy an entire WLAN with a single 802.11 channel and a single Secure Service Set Identifier. Foundry said this simplifies management and configuration for administrators.

The new IronPort gear also supports in-the-air QoS, where the devices prioritize certain types of traffic over the air. Other WLAN equipment applies QoS settings to data or voice traffic only once packets hit the wired network at the access point, Foundry said.

Wireless Location Manager 2.02 now locates unauthorized access points (for example, an access point set up by a user at their desk), as well as unauthorized WLAN clients. This service can be overlaid on top of an existing Foundry WLAN infrastructure and does not require access points dedicated to location-tracking, the company says.

The Meru-based Foundry WLAN gear competes with products such as Cisco's Airespace equipment, as well as gear from Aruba Networks and Trapeze Networks.

"Meru's architecture is superior to any of these other vendors when it comes to supporting applications such as voice over WLAN, and providing wireless in area where user density is high," said Rachna Ahlawat, research director for wireless networking at Gartner.

The IronPort Mobility Radio Switch 4000 costs $2,100 or $2,200, depending on whether it is fitted with a 180-degree or 360-degree antenna. The IronPoint Mobility AP150 costs $525, and the IronPoint Wireless Location Manager 2.02 software costs $8,000. The products will be available next month.