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Red-M, the Madge subsidiary, has announced a new wireless server, the 3000AS, worthy of note because it is the "first Bluetooth-enabled networking product".

Despite the hype surrounding Bluetooth, few products have reached the market, and the more cynical among us wondered if this was ever going to take off. But
Rob Forbes of Red-M rejects suggestions that Bluetooth is too little, too expensive and too late.

"I think we will start to see products coming out now," he said, pointing to the 1900 companies signed up to the Bluetooth initiative; the chips would be so cheap that makers will automatically include them in products," he claims. "PDA manufacturers are including chips for shipping next year."

The 3000AS includes an intranet Web server, email relay system and a shared modem or broadband connection. The 1000AP access points can be connected to the 3000AS access server over a standard LAN connection, which surely defeats the object of Bluetooth networking in the first place. After all, if you can wire up your access points, you can wire up your PCs.

The 3000AS and 1000AP are designed to provide coverage of up to 100m per access server or access point.

The server is priced at $2995 and the access points cost $395 apiece. ®

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