Cisco launches new Aironet wireless access points; Eyes more spatial streams

Summary:Cisco is betting that the Aironet line can maintain quality as workers video conference, connect to virtual desktops and make wireless local area network calls from their devices.

Cisco has launched new enterprise Wi-Fi routers designed to make it easier to manage bring your own device schemes. The mission: End the game of musical chairs that plays out in conference rooms as meeting attendees try to get closest to the wireless access point.

At Cisco Live in London, the networking giant is expected to take the wraps off of the Cisco Aironet 3600 series of wireless access points.

Sujai Hajela, general manager of Cisco's wireless networking business unit, said in an interview that the company is looking to create gear that will "enable seamless connections to any wireless device" and maintain quality "no matter the difference from the access point."

According to Hajela, Cisco is betting that the Aironet line can maintain quality as workers video conference, connect to virtual desktops and make wireless local area network calls from their devices.

With four antennae and 30 percent more performance, Cisco is hoping the Aironet can account for multiple spatial streams---the path between the wireless signals served by an antenna and a device---and hit multiple devices. For instance, an iPad could use one spatial stream, a laptop would occupy two and an iPhone could have another.

The Aironet access points also have slots built in so new radios can be added whether they are Wi-Fi or cellular.

As for the markets Cisco is hoping to hit, Hajela said that he expects corporate campuses, healthcare facilities, educational institutions, small offices and retailers to have the most use for the new routers. "The days of going into a conference room and looking for an access point are over," said Hajela. If successful, Cisco is looking to eliminate the following problem:

And replace it with this scenario:

Cisco's wireless access points are available today and will run you $1,495 or $1,595 for the Aironet 3600 depending on antenna placement.

Topics: Cisco, Mobility, Networking, Security, Wi-Fi

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Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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