News Release

Cisco Shapes Future of Mobile Business with Next- Generation 802.11n Wireless

Cisco ensures investment protection and operational simplicity with integrated enterprise wireless solution
Sep 04, 2007

SAN JOSE, Calif., September 4, 2007 - Continuing its leadership and innovation in delivering integrated solutions that allow business to take full advantage of mobility applications, Cisco® today introduced the industry's only integrated 802.11n solution designed to combine superior wireless performance and reliability with simplicity of deployment.

Cisco's next-generation Unified Wireless Network offering includes the modular Cisco Aironet® 1250 Series access point, the first enterprise-class 11n access point available on the market, as well as the 48 Gbps scalable Cisco Catalyst® 6500-based wireless local-area network controller system, and wired and wireless services with the Unified Wireless Network Release 4.2. Cisco will also deliver, via its family of Catalyst switches, the ability to fully power the dual-radio Aironet 1250 Series from a single Ethernet port.

Cisco's new Aironet 1250 Series access point is the industry's first Wi-Fi-certified 802.11n draft 2.0 access point and the only commercially available product to have participated in the Wi-Fi Alliance 802.11n draft 2.0 testbed, establishing it as the industry benchmark against which all other products will be certified for Wi-Fi interoperability. Cisco has applied its experience in radio frequency communications to deliver a fivefold increase in throughput and multiple-in, multiple-out (MIMO) technology to help ensure high reliability of wireless coverage, particularly for challenging RF environments including those found in healthcare, education, warehousing, logistics and manufacturing.

As a market leader in advanced network technologies, Cisco offers global customers the confidence to deploy pervasive next-generation wireless networks with the expectation of highly secure compatibility from infrastructure to client. Extensive 802.11n draft 2.0 joint interoperability testing was conducted with Cisco's partner Intel at the Intel Oregon testing facility, which is set up to simulate a typical enterprise environment. By testing with Intel, Cisco is helping to ensure that its next-generation wireless solutions offer more reliable performance and greater compatibility between Intel-based client devices and Cisco wireless networks. In all, more than 90 percent of enterprise laptops have Wi-Fi silicon that is Cisco Compatible Extensions certified, providing the industry's best capabilities for simple, highly secure connectivity.

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

Cisco's next-generation wireless products supporting 802.11n capabilities include the following:

  • Leading Wireless LAN Controller Capacity and Integrated Network Services. Designed to support either a gradual increase or immediate large-scale 802.11n deployment, Cisco's Wireless Service Module (WiSM) for the Catalyst 6500 allows customers to add controller capacity as required. This scalable capability offers customers a flexible, customized solution for their pervasive wireless deployments. With the Catalyst 6500 family, Cisco wireless customers can also take advantage of integrated wired and wireless security, high availability, and application intelligence for both wired and wireless users.
  • Cisco Unified Wireless Network 4.2. Cisco is delivering enhanced mobility services through the new Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software version 4.2. These include enterprise wireless mesh, access point monitoring and migration tools, and unified wired and wireless guest access. In addition, these services incorporate voice-ready wireless enhancements, survivable remote access points and integrated spectrum analysis.
  • Improved client capabilities including Cisco's Secure Services Client 5.0. Enhancements to the Cisco Secure Services Client focus on simplified enterprise provisioning of a single client security and management framework. Version 5.0 provides a greatly improved user interface offering "2 Click Connect" capabilities.

"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 Cisco's Wireless Network Business Unit. "With its continued leadership in innovation, only Cisco has delivered a truly deployable wired and wireless 802.11n solution for customers. This is an unrivaled ability to lower total cost of ownership for customers by eliminating the need to overhaul existing infrastructure."

Cisco's commitment to developing innovative technology solutions for business mobility also extends to providing investment protection for customers looking to the emerging market opportunities driven by 802.11n's significant reliability and throughput enhancements. Cisco's Unified Wireless Network is 802.11n-ready today and has the capacity to efficiently scale to handle the draft standard's requirements, while maintaining compatibility with current wireless standards like 802.11a/b/g, without requiring a redesign of network infrastructure.

By late 2007 Cisco expects to enable auto-negotiating, single-port power for the Aironet 1250 Access Point on leading switches across the Catalyst portfolio. This unique, integrated solution eliminates the need to run an additional cabling drop or insert a separate power injector.

Duke University is taking advantage of the enhanced mobile performance of 802.11n and the new Cisco Aironet 1250 Series access point. According to Duke's chief information officer, Tracy Futhey, Cisco and Duke engineers have been working together to configure the wireless network in a residence hall to ensure proper interoperability, performance and design.

"Universities provide a unique role as a microcosm for the broader society: a realistic yet controlled testing ground," Futhey said. "We have people who work here, live here, play here and visit here. They use the Duke wireless network for diverse applications such as video, streaming media and other data-intensive technologies. Our early experience with Cisco's 802.11n technology has been that it can reliably deliver the wireless bandwidth our highly mobile population requires."

The new 802.11n technology provides a number of benefits for Cisco's wireless-specialized partner community as well, not only from technology resale opportunities, but from professional services offerings. Cisco's wireless-specialized partners can provide both technical services and design expertise for customers to help them work through the design and development of these new 802.11n offerings.

Availability and Catalyst Switching and Wireless LAN Controller Offers

The new Cisco Aironet 1250 Series access point is scheduled to be available for ordering next month; corresponding Power-over-Ethernet support via Cisco's Catalyst switch family is scheduled for later this year. Cisco is also offering Catalyst 3750, 4500 and 6500 switching and wireless LAN controller bundles, giving customers compelling savings opportunities as they take advantage of Cisco's next-generation wireless solutions. Businesses can contact their Cisco sales representative or authorized reseller for details or go to