3Com SA has announced the immediate availability of its self-learning network system called the 3Com Baseline Switch 2226-PWR Plus. This new web-configurable switch offers enhanced levels of network control and enables small-and-medium businesses (SMBs) to take advantage of Power over Ethernet (PoE) and 3Com's prioritisation technology for Internet Telephony (IP) telephony.

Combining the Baseline 2226-PWR Plus with the new 3Com NBX V3000 platform, organisations have a solution that creates converged, small business networks without complexity.

Indeed, this new 3Com Baseline Plus switch is the industry's first self-learning "smart" switch to be optimised for the SMB market - offering a combination of easy-to-use, web-configurable management features, automated Quality of Service (QoS) for voice prioritisation, flexible media Gigabit uplinks and other enterprise-class features along with PoE on all 24 10/100 ports.

Importantly, The Baseline Switch 2226-PWR Plus is designed to drive down the cost of deploying voice-over-IP applications, accelerating the adoption of VoIP and similar converged technologies.

Furthermore, the new switch automatically detects and prioritises NBX IP telephony traffic, making voice prioritisation transparent to the user and ensuring that mission-critical and real-time applications run effectively.

In light of South Africa's expected increased rollout of VoIP next year, these functionalities are particularly relevant.

The switch also supports PoE-enabled wireless LAN access points for small businesses to go wireless more easily. Essentially, the switch is needed in order to create the network infrastructure - the foundation for 21st century communications - that supports IP telephony applications and other business applications.

"3Com continues to develop business unique enterprise-class systems for SMBs by leveraging our years of experience in IP telephony and Power over Ethernet," says Wolfgang Held, network consultant at 3Com SA The new switch offers layer 2 switch functionality for SMB wiring closets or branch office environments that use LAN infrastructure for the deployment of network applications such as IP telephones, wireless LAN access points, network jacks, video surveillance, and remote video kiosks.

Also, the use of Power over Ethernet gives managers more control of the powering of network-connected devices. Managers can also reduce the cost of rewiring, especially as smaller businesses continue to become increasingly mobile and use more business tool devices.

In addition, each of the 24 ports also supports both PoE and non-PoE devices, therefore, giving companies further flexibility.