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Chantry Networks and Propagate Networks Partner to Propose an Alternative Standard to Expired LWAPP Protocol

Chantry's and Propagate's CAPWAP Tunneling Protocol Guarantees Out-of-the-Box Interoperability Between Wireless Access Points and Wireless Controllers and Switches; Protects Investment in Existing Solutions and Facilitates Migration to Any WLAN Deployment

WALTHAM, MA—April 5, 2004—Chantry Networks, the leading innovator of routed wireless networking technology for IP-based networking, and Propagate Networks, provider of AutoCell™, a self-organizing network for 802.11 access and clients, announced today a new protocol, CAPWAP Tunneling Protocol (CTP), for interoperability between wireless access points. This protocol will be proposed to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) as a superior alternative to the expired LWAPP protocol.

CAPWAP (Control and Provisioning of Wireless Access Points) is a working group in the IETF. The current charter of this group is to come up with a WLAN architecture taxonomy document that will be reviewed by experts of the IEEE.

CTP’s open architectural approach leverages Layer 3 technology, provides a better upgrade path for wireless access point vendors, and provides investment protection for customers of all vendors’ CTP-compliant access points. This enables a simplified migration path from departmental or single-site WLAN deployments to enterprise-wide routed topologies, because companies can expand their WLAN architecture to encompass the entire enterprise by integrating any vendor’s access points that support CTP. This also results in a WLAN architecture that is highly amenable to change and provides seamless roaming between heterogeneous access points, enabling the implementation of next-generation convergence applications such as WLAN voice-over IP (VoIP).

“LWAPP offered a rudimentary solution for early 802.11 networks by providing basic access and interoperability,” said Bob Myers, co-founder and CTO, Chantry Networks. “However the future needs of the wireless community demand a more flexible approach to WLAN deployment. CTP was designed to enable multiple wireless technologies, flexible network topologies and future changes in wireless functionality.”

“Enterprise customers want the flexibility to add Wi-Fi equipment to the network with no pre-planning – wherever and whenever they want – especially as VoIP over 802.11 moves up in priority,” commented Floyd Backes, CTO for Propagate Networks. “The combination of CAPWAP tunneling protocol and AutoCell will bring a whole new class of light APs into the enterprise market. Propagate is bringing CTP plus AutoCell to the high-volume low-cost ODM in Taiwan and mainland China. This will produce an unstoppable wave of standards-based Access Points and a new price point for enterprise Wi-Fi.”

Benefits to the end user community
CTP is based on an open architecture (CAPWAP) detailing interoperability for access points. The protocol is designed for seamless roaming over Layer 3 for greater mobility across subnets, and supports low-latency roaming. The end benefit of this approach is that users will be able to use VoIP with very high quality of service, using access points from any number of vendors. Not only does this provide users with service levels required for VoIP to be deployed on a wide basis, but it also offers users a choice of wireless access point vendors – delivering a standard that eliminates the risk of being locked into one vendor's hardware or software.

As more and more customers start to realize the benefits of VoIP, quality of service will increasingly become the primary requirement. CTP is the most sophisticated and logical standard to satisfy these needs because of the inherent capability of allowing a thin AP to act with more intelligence (QoS and more).
Additionally, the old LWAPP proposal only supported the 802.11 standard. As wireless usage grows and becomes more comprehensive, end users will require support for alternative radio technologies. In addition to being “agnostic” to the networking topology between access point and access controller, CTP also offers a solution that is “agnostic” to the radio technology – providing customers with the peace of mind that any wireless controller or switch that supports CTP, will address their future needs for wireless usage.

“It’s very clear to us that thin APs are the way to go,” said Craig J. Mathias, a Principal with the wireless advisory firm Farpoint Group (Ashland, Mass.). “We’re getting closer to a truly universal implementation that will allow room for growth without undue effort on the part of network managers.”

Benefits to wireless vendors
Access point vendors wishing to incorporate CTP into their existing and future products only need to do a simple software upgrade – this is accomplished by building on services that are already provided in existing APs.
CTP’s approach will enable vendors to more quickly, easily, and affordably, adopt a standard that will help them address customer needs while also offering open technology with proven features.

Availability of the protocol
The specifications for CTP will be submitted to the IETF by the end of April. This document will be available to allow vendors to implement CTP. The protocol is currently available in Chantry’s BeaconWorks™ product suite, and will be available in Propagate’s AutoCell™ in 2Q 2004.

Additionally, Chantry and Propagate have technical experts who are available to discuss CTP in both public and small group settings. For more information, please contact Bob Myers at Chantry Networks (rmyers@chantrynetworks.com) or Floyd Backes at Propagate Networks (fbackes@propagatenet.com).

About Propagate Networks
Propagate Networks, Inc. (www.propagatenet.com), headquartered in Acton, Massachusetts, was founded in October 2002 to automate and increase the performance of 802.11 wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment. Based on patent-pending technology, Propagate's technology will significantly boost the throughput and decrease the cost of 802.11 solutions by creating a distributed, self-organizing network. Propagate Networks is led by a team of seasoned network professionals and entrepreneurs and is funded by a group of private investors.

About Chantry Networks
Chantry Networks is the creator of BeaconWorks, an innovative, IP-based wireless LAN
(WLAN) solution. Offering unprecedented scalability and availability, coupled with unique network virtualization features, BeaconWorks overcomes the obstacles inherent in traditional WLAN systems to provide enterprises and service providers with the first economical and practical solution for building seamless and pervasive wireless networks. Founded in April of 2002, Chantry Networks is headquartered in Boston with offices in Chicago, Denver, New York, San Francisco and Toronto. Chantry is backed by top-tier investors including Flagship Ventures, Primaxis Technology Ventures, Venture Coaches and Ventures West. For more information, visit Chantry Networks at: www.chantrynetworks.com.


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