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New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology Adopts High-Speed 802.11n Wireless Network from Meru

Wireless Seen as ‘Network Infrastructure of the Future’, Reducing Cost and Avoiding Upgrades as Wired Networks Age

London UK, 2nd February, 2009 – Student residences at the Manhattan-based Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) have gained high-performance wireless Internet access with a new IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 wireless LAN from Meru Networks.

The new Meru 802.11n WLAN, based on Meru’s virtualized wireless architecture, expands and upgrades the existing Meru wireless network first installed in 2004 in academic buildings on FIT’s West 27th Street campus in Chelsea. By the end of 2009, FIT, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) expects to complete an upgrade of its entire wireless network to 11n, bringing campus-wide high-performance access to the school’s 10,000 students at five times the access speed of earlier 802.11a/b/g standards.

Gregg Chottiner, FIT’s vice president of information technology and chief information officer, said the school’s strategic goal is to make the whole campus wireless.

“We’re looking to wireless as the network infrastructure of the future,” Chottiner said. “As parts of our wired infrastructure reach end-of-life, rather than replacing them we will use wireless as our primary vehicle for data access, and even voice and video. This will save on capital costs, since we won’t have to keep expanding our switching closets and installing all the associated cabling.”

Student needs drove the move to wireless in FIT dormitories, Chottiner said. “Students were having to plug their laptops into network jacks that would break or become hidden as furniture was moved around. They wanted the flexibility to work in the hallways or in collaboration areas or in each others’ rooms. The Meru wireless LAN lets them do all these things.”

Cementing the decision to upgrade to products based on the high-performance 802.11n standard, Chottiner said, was the fact that, as an art and design school, FIT often requires its students to work with large, complex file formats – e.g., AutoCAD and Adobe CS4 – that include large numbers of high-resolution images. “The kids access these resources in their classrooms and labs, and then bring the work back to the dorms on their laptops,” he said. “802.11n provides all the bandwidth they need for these applications.”

FIT first installed a Meru 802.11a/b/g wireless LAN in 2004. “Initially the APs were deployed sporadically, on an as-needed basis,” Chottiner said. “Today we’re not only bringing wireless to new sites, we’re also filling in a lot of gaps. Meru’s virtual cell approach makes it easy to do this because you can just put new APs up where you need them, without having to worry about planning around channel interference. And the Meru technology is so self-sufficient that it automatically manages the integration of new APs into the network.”

He added that Meru successfully addresses FIT’s need for high signal strength in some of its older, thick-walled buildings; and, even in Manhattan’s dense urban environment, users do not encounter connection or interference problems. The Meru WLAN also is fully compatible with the Bradford Networks NAC (network access control) product the school uses for secure user authentication on its network.

Meru products used in FIT’s wireless network include the AP311 access point, with one 802.11n radio and one 802.11a/b/g radio (software-upgradeable to 11n); the AP302, with two 802.11a/b/g radios (both software-upgradeable to 11n); the AP208, with two 802.11a/b/g radios; and the MC3000 controller, which provides centralized intelligent RF management and security for all access points on the wireless LAN.

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Meru Networks have also announcement the partnership with Bradford Networks today, please visit the Meru Networks’ website or contact the PR team for more details.

Company contact:
Jeff Knight
Meru Networks, Inc.
+1 408-215-5376
[email protected]

Media contacts:
Rose Ross
Omarketing Limited (for Meru Networks – UK and rest of EMEA)
+ 44 (0) 20 8255 5225
[email protected]

Laurence Colin (for Meru Networks – France)
RP&Co. Paris
+33 (0)1 40 20 04 50
[email protected]

Susan Rose
Rose Kommunikation & PR (for Meru Networks – Nordics)
+46 (0)735 81 35 40
[email protected]

Meru’s Virtualized WLAN Architecture
In Meru’s virtualized WLAN architecture, a single radio channel is used by all access points, creating an enterprise-wide “virtual cell,” so that wireless devices connected to the network never have to switch channels and risk dropped or interrupted service as the user moves around the network. The virtual cell provides the basis for a “virtual port” to be assigned to each client device, giving Ethernet port-like service and control to each connected device. This combination allows an optimization of RF resources which raises WLAN performance and reliability to wireline levels while reducing the cost of wireless to a fraction of its wired equivalent. In contrast, legacy WLAN systems use a “micro cell” approach, which assigns different radio channels to adjacent APs, requires precise and time-consuming channel planning and AP power adjustments and limiting future expansion.

About FIT
Fashion Institute of Technology, a leader in professional career-oriented education, is a selective college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), with 44 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 11,000 students in such diverse areas as fashion design, advertising and marketing communications, toy design, home products development and fashion merchandising management. SUNY is the largest comprehensive university system in the United States, educating more than 418,000 students in 7,669 degree and certificate programs on 64 campuses. For more information, visit www.fitnyc.edu.

About Meru Networks
Founded in 2002, Meru Networks develops and markets wireless LAN infrastructure solutions that use virtualization to deliver pervasive, high-fidelity wireless service for business-critical voice, video and data applications. The company first introduced its award-winning virtual cell wireless architecture in 2003, and Meru products embody a complete departure from typical hub-based WLAN approaches, offering a wireless solution with levels of performance, reliability, security and cost-effectiveness previously found only in wired networking environments. Meru’s solutions have been adopted in all major industry vertical markets, including Fortune 500 enterprises, healthcare, education, retail, manufacturing, hospitality and government. Meru is headquartered in Sunnyvale, Calif., and has operations in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit www.merunetworks.com

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Pierre Perrin-Monlouis
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