Tulane University Medical School first to get 802.11a access

80 buildings on campus to be conected

For a wireless implementation spanning multiple campuses, Tulane University, has selected the Enterasys Networks RoamAbout R2 Wireless Access Platform, the first wireless access platform that will offer 54 Megabits per second (Mbps) performance based on the 802.11a standard and bring advanced Layer 3-4 capabilities to the wireless LAN. The wireless project, encompassing 80 buildings and a number of common areas across three campuses, will be comprised of approximately 1,000 802.11a Access Points.

"With the size and scope of the wireless initiative, we must deploy technology that will last," said Jed Diem, vice president of information systems at Tulane University. "The Enterasys RoamAbout R2 provides the perfect migration path with an Access Point that simultaneously supports both current 802.11b and next-generation 802.11a standards."

The University, will offer students and faculty high-performance mobile connectivity to support advanced applications. Augmenting the wired infrastructure, the wireless network will provide students and faculty with flexible mobile network access.

"In a research and learning environment such as Tulane University, it is imperative that people are connected—to information, University resources and, most importantly, to each other," continued Diem. "The multi-campus wireless infrastructure enables Tulane to take the next step toward universal connectivity; it makes it easy for people to be connected anytime, anywhere."

Built upon an expandable platform, the RoamAbout R2 is unique in its ability to support multiple high-rate wireless LAN (WLAN) radios providing complete investment protection and an easy migration path. When higher-speed standards such as 802.11a (54Mbps) become available, the RoamAbout R2 will run both technologies simultaneously from one device, providing Tulane with the flexibility to upgrade to 802.11a according to their needs. In addition, because it is based on industry standards, the R2 is interoperable with the University’s existing infrastructure.

MAC Address authentication via radius servers will supply user authentication and help secure Tulane’s wireless LAN infrastructure. The University will also rely on IEEE standards to address wireless network security and is planning to implement the IEEE 802.1x authentication standard once it is finalized. The RoamAbout R2 wireless platform will support 802.1x as part of its Secure Harbour security architecture.

First to receive the high-speed wireless access will be the School of Medicine, the School of Law, and the main campus library. The project is scheduled to take place in two phases, with full implementation completed by the end of the 2001.


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