Cisco Systems is offering a new wireless access point called the Aironet 1140 that could bring the 802.11 Draft-n wireless technology standards into mainstream businesses and enterprises. The Cisco Aironet 1140 access point offers businesses higher throughput than Cisco's previous devices can integrate voice, video and rich media across an enterprise network. The Cisco Aironet 1140 also features the company's M-Drive Technology for improved throughput.
is looking to bring 802.11 Draft-n WLAN standards into
the enterprise with a new wireless access point that it says can deliver nine
times the throughput of more established 802.11a/g wireless networks.
On Jan. 13, Cisco rolled out the Aironet 1140 wireless access point device, a
dual-radio platform that uses the technology found in the 802.11 Draft 2.0
standard as well as 802.3af POE (power over Ethernet).
The Cisco Aironet 1140 platform also uses Cisco's own M-Drive Technology,
which is part of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network-a radio-frequency platform
that is supposed to enhance 802.11 performance. Included in Cisco's M-Drive is
ClientLink, a beam-forming technology that not only improves the performance of
802.11 Draft-n, but can also increase the performance of older networks using
the 802.11 a/g standards. ClientLink also increases channel capacity while
making an enterprise's network easier to manage, Cisco said. ClientLink will be
available to customers in the first half of 2009.
The goal of the Cisco Aironet 1140 wireless device is to move enterprises
toward adopting the 802.11 Draft-n standard, while keeping Cisco ahead of
competitors such as Juniper Networks
ProCurve division. At the same time, as more and more enterprises
allow employees to use laptops and work from remote locations or home, the need
for better wireless communications continues to grow.
While older networks are limited, Cisco said it believes that businesses
that use 802.11 Draft-n technologies will be able to integrate voice, video on demand
and rich media content into their networks. However, enterprises have been
reluctant, so far, to adopt the newer 802.11 wireless standards.
"The market for 802.11 n in the enterprise is still emerging," said
Charles King, an analyst with Pund-IT Research. "There are companies that are
adopting it more aggressively than others, but I think in this case, this is
Cisco's way of selling a value proposition to their customers."
There is also cost to consider, and Cisco is working to make WLAN networks
more attractive. With the Aironet 1140, King said enterprises will be able to
allow more employees to work off of a single access point using 802.11 Draft-n
than they could if their networks used older 802.11 a/g standards.
In addition, it can cost less for an enterprise to
install these various nodes throughout a business than to try to hook up every
desk and cubicle with traditional wired networking. When the Aironet 1140 becomes
available, Cisco will sell the devices in 10-packs for $12,999. However, with
technology such as ClientLink, Cisco is also hoping to make sure its platforms
can support legacy devices as businesses switch to the newer standards.