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Cisco jumps on gigabit Internet craze with new wireless offerings

With AT&T and Google (among others) warming up for a gigabit Internet war, Cisco is jumping in the fray with some new products to support the speedy connections.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor on

The words "gigabit Internet" are becoming fairly common these days with buzz surrounding Google Fiber — much to the ire of some wireless providers nationwide scrambling to compete.

In the meantime, Cisco is getting involved with some new 802.11ac wireless networking solutions, falling in line with the communications giant's evolving strategies around WLAN and the "Internet of Everything."

See also: Google Fiber speeds up with new destination: Provo, Utah | Google confirms Austin as next Fiber city | AT&T plots $14 billion network build out; Sprint nabs spectrum

To better comprehend what the 802.11ac standard offers, Cisco described that this means network speeds that can "download significant amounts of Web content and run streaming video simultaneously."

Imitating the patterns we've already seen with the consumerization of IT, Cisco predicted that as smartphones and laptops will soon be built to support gigabit Wi-Fi, employees will expect the same kind of speedy network support — especially for data-intensive apps like HD streaming video and Web conferencing.

Thus, aimed at the enterprise set, Cisco's new 802.11ac portfolio includes a module that supports Wi-Fi speeds up to 1.3Gbps. That access point, the 802.11ac Wave 1 Module for the Cisco Aironet 3600 Series, is available now and shipping to select customers.

Cisco estimated that early adopters will be looking to deploy .11ac in the very near future based on observing its own customer base already using these solutions in beta with their upgrades.

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