Cisco Rolls Out Enterprise-Class Wi-Fi

Chip makers and notebook manufacturers are already building the 802.11n standard into new PCs and wireless devices.

Cisco Systems debuted on Sept. 4 its first enterprise-class wireless LAN access point based on the Wi-Fi Alliances 802.11n standards. According to Cisco, the Aironet 1250 access point is the only commercially available product to have participated in the Alliances 802.11n Draft 2.0 testbed.

Although the Draft 2.0 standards are still at least a year away from final adoption, Cisco said it is moving ahead since chip makers and laptop companies are already building the standard into new PCs and other wireless devices.

The 802.11n Draft 2.0 joint interoperability testing was conducted with Intel at the Intel Oregon testing facility, which is set up to simulate a typical enterprise environment. Cisco said its experience in radio-frequency communications allows the company to deliver a fivefold increase in throughput and MIMO (multiple input, multiple output) technology.


Click here to read more about products certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance as meeting the 802.11n draft specifications.

"802.11n is being looked at by businesses of all sizes and its being looked at as the first new standard for overall robustness," said Ben Gibson, director of Ciscos mobility solutions, in San Jose, Calif. "It will allow the enterprise to embrace wireless more fully."

Ciscos next-generation Unified Wireless Network will include the modular Aironet 1250 Series access point, as well as the 48G-bps scalable Cisco Catalyst 6500-based WLAN controller system, and wired and wireless services with the Unified Wireless Network Release 4.2.

In addition, Cisco will also deliver, through its Catalyst switches, the ability to fully power the dual-radio Aironet 1250 Series from a single Ethernet port.

"Next-generation wireless offers the promise of higher bandwidth and more reliable mobility, and Cisco has recognized the importance of delivering not only industry-leading wireless technology but also the integrated wired and wireless solution to make it all possible," said Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager of Ciscos Wireless Network Business Unit.

Cisco said its 802.11n-ready network has the capacity to scale to handle the draft standards requirements, while maintaining compatibility with current wireless standards like 802.11a/b/g, without requiring a redesign of network infrastructure.

"Ensuring compatibility and performance are foremost in the adoption of next-generation wireless technologies," Randy Nickel, director of wireless marketing for Intels mobile platforms group, based in Santa Clara, Calif., said in a statement. "Cisco and Intel have worked together closely to ensure that adoption of 802.11n technologies is as seamless as possible for enterprise customers."

The Cisco Aironet 1250 Series access point will be available in October. The corresponding POE (power-over-Ethernet) support through the companys Catalyst switch family is scheduled for later in 2007.


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