Proxim has released a new fixed wireless system that will serve as a part of a migration platform to WiMax solutions expected in the second half of next year.

The Tsunami MP.11 Model 5054-R comes in a tough enclosure with heating and cooling built in for outdoor weather. It supports three 5GHz bands - 5.25, 5.47 and 5.725 - with a total of 20 non-overlapping channels. The system’s performance scales from 6Mbit/s to 36Mbit/s, the company claimed.

According to Proxim, it will "allow customers to implement WiMax applications such as public safety, security and surveillance, last mile access and metropolitan area networking now, while providing an upgrade path to WiMax Forum Certified status later.

WiMax is on the fast track to become an industry standard long-distance fixed wireless solution to connect buildings within approximately a 30-mile to 40-mile range. The point-to-multipoint Tsunami products are built on Proxim's Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) Software Platform. =

Lindsay Schroth, a senior analyst at the Yankee Group, called the Proxim move "Ciscoesque", in that, like Cisco's IOS, it gives the enterprise a single software platform upon which to build applications for all of its networks. "It sets a software foundation for WiMax products, such as a solution like advanced bandwidth provisioning. When WiMax is available, all a company needs to do is swap out the radio while using the same software solution," Schroth said.

Also announced were three point-to-point products: QuickBridge II Wireless Outdoor Bridge and Tsuanmi GX 32 and GX 90 wireless Ethernet bridges.

All four products will for the first time use a GPS-enabled, Web-based configuration tool for positioning devices on buildings. According to Lynn Lucas, vice president of product marketing at Proxim, GPS will reduce the time it takes to roll out a wireless link from days to hours.

"GPS allows a company to line up the devices with an audible tone that lets you know when they are lined up properly," said Lucas. In addition, the products are all strengthened for harsh weather conditions and temperatures.

The Tsunami MP.11 Model 5054-R with BWA Software Platform is available now and starts at $1,999. Tsuanmi QuickBridge II Wireless Outdoor Bridge is available now and has a starting price of $6,499. The Tsunami GX 32 starts at $7,399, and the Tsunami GX 90 at $11,399.