Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Siemens announces SOHO Wimax devices.

Siemens today announced a series of Wimax devices aimed at the SoHo and small enterprise user. There are 6 devices in total but the most feature rich is the Gigaset SX686 Wimax gateway. The gateway will connect to a Wimax backhaul and (true to it's name) serve as a gateway between the backhaul and your office network.
Following is a list of it's features:

* Based on IEEE 802.16-2005 and fully compliant to Wave 2 certification, including MIMO A and B and beamforming
* Fully self installing over the air or Web interface
* Supports TR-069 and OMA-DM
* Two internal antennas for receive, one for transmit (7-9 dBi)
* Integrated WLAN for wireless network connectivity, supporting WLAN handsets
* Convenient button to easily switch WLAN on or off
* 4 Ethernet ports
* 1 USB host to connect a printer or external hard drive
* Supports up to 6 SIP accounts for VoIP
* 2 FXS ports to connect analog phones or a fax machine
* PBX functionality (e.g., CLIP, call forwarding, conferencing) for up to 6 extensions
* Multiple connections enabled
* VLAN tagging based on TOS bits, MAC, IP, LAN/FXS ports, connections, management traffic
* Up to 20 Mbits
* Stateful inspection firewall
* Parental control and content filtering
* WEP, WPA/WPA2, MAC-filtering, WPS

Several things strike me as significant and interesting; The inclusions of PBX shows again that Wimax is a Telco product rather than an ISP product. It's a technology to expand the telco's network coverage and product coverage without having to put expensive cabling in place. Wimax let's them put up a tower (fairly) quickly and cheaply and achieve coverage in areas wehere they currently cannot offer a service of a compatible standard.
A second point that is worth noticing is the maximum throughput of 20 Mbits. What happened to the huge bandwidth possibilities as hyped in the media? I'm glad to see that at least some manufacturers have taken a realistic approach. The last significant point is the inclusion of Wifi in the gateway. They shows that the penetration of wifi devices is so significant that even Wimax device manufacturers cannot ignore it.
Lastly the inclusion of remote device management software is clearly an indication that this is a device aimed to be distributed by telcos rather than purchased by the end user.

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