U.S.-based Belkin, known for its iPod accessories and audio visual products, is expanding its product portfolio into the enterprise space with its latest wireless network product.
Applying the 802.11n specification, Belkin’s N1 wireless product line aims to provide a speedy access for users. 802.11n is a new specification still in the process of being ratified by IEEE, but its performance has proven to be outstanding as compared to regular wireless, said Eric Tong, VP at Asia Pacific.
The 802.11n provides a data throughput up to 130 to 140Mbps, while 802.11g tops out at about 80Mbps. The specification has also demonstrated a stable and speedy connection with multiple bandwidth-demanding applications, said Tong.
The N1 product family includes a wireless router, notebook card and desktop card, available in Hong Kong starting in mid-July, and a USB adapter card will be available in the fourth quarter of 2006.
Using multiple input multiple output spatial multiplexing techniques, N1 is able to support multiple receivers and transmitters. Tong noted tests have demonstrated a stable connection to support up to eight different multimedia applications simultaneously, including voice over IP, picture downloads from digital cameras, video streaming, Skype video conferencing and streaming audio.
The N1 is targeted at the SME market segment and thus directly competes with other providers like Linksys and D-Link, said Tong. Despite being a newcomer to the industry, he declared his firm’s user-friendliness and slick design is in the market.
“We are experienced in building solutions around hardware, with usability a top priority,” he said. “We have a team conducting user studies to find out how consumers live and work with our products.”
The N1 router design also features a network status display, which shows the connection status of different components within the network. Using different icons to represent components provides a clear indication of connection status and allows easy troubleshooting, according to Tong.
Tong said Belkin is also targeting the enterprise space with a keyboard video mouse (KVM): a switch that allows users to control multiple computers using a single keyboard, monitor and mouse. As a patent holder of the technology, Belkin aims to be the leading developer of KVM for business and home users, he said.
Tong said his firm’s aggressive plan to expand in Asia is intended to increase overall revenue contribution of Asia Pacific from 6 percent in 2005 to 15 percent in 2010.
“We have a deep understanding of the behavioral and cultural needs of the Asia market and aim to deliver localized solutions to the Asia market with a fanatical focus on an ecstatic user experience,” he boasted.
-Sheila Lam, Computerworld Hong Kong
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