Cisco Announces New 802.11n AP

By Naomi Graychase

January 13, 2009

Cisco today unveiled a new 802.11n draft 2 Access Point, the Cisco Aironet 1140, which it says will make deploying enterprise-grade WLANs easier, more affordable, and more reliable.

Cisco today unveiled a new 802.11n draft 2 Access Point, the Cisco Aironet 1140 ($1,299).

Part of the Cisco Unified Wireless Network (CUWN), the Aironet 1140 Series AP features Cisco’s M-Drive Technology, which Cisco says improves wireless coverage and capacity, optimizes device connections, extends the useful life of existing wireless devices, and simplifies wireless management. It also is slated to include Cisco’s newly branded beamforming technology, ClientLink, which will be available via download in later this year.

“Beamforming is essentially the ability of the AP to steer more signal strength toward clients that need it. It does it dynamically,” said Ben Gibson, senior director, mobility solutions at Cisco. “ClientLink delivers RF expertise and innovation in a way that increases performance, not only for new 11n clients, but also for legacy clients.”

Even in a down economy, Gibson says 802.11n uptake is strong. “Intel has delivered over 15 million 11n clients to market. The current economy not withstanding, we think there’s a perfect storm brewing here, with 802.11n, making n more mainstream. Also on the client side, some broader estimates project that the market expects to see 1.5 billion new devices shipping to market in the next year—traditional laptop computers, smartphones, medical equipment. There will be a lot of new Wi-Fi endpoints coming in.”

Despite the impressive growth in Wi-Fi deployment, Gibson says, only a small percentage of the available space in the business environment that could be covered by Wi-Fi is. Cisco puts the actual percentage of coverage in the low teens—which means there’s still room for some serious growth.

“We polled Cisco customers who were considering deploying 11n and we asked them, what is the greatest challenge you face in terms of 11n? And, first and foremost, the answer was TCO. It was not necessarily the cost of acquisition, but more about total cost of ownership and the IT resource and expense required to manage these larger WLAN networks. The major inhibitor, say, five-plus years ago was security. I believe that today the number one inhibitor is actually that wireless LANs have to be easier to manage and operate on an ongoing basis. That means it’s not just managing APs and controllers and the like, it’s about managing the burden it has on making sure laptops and other devices get connected securely and easily. All that falls into TCO for an IT dept. They want Wi-Fi to be easier and more reliable,” said Gibson.

Greening IT

Since part of TCO is power consumption, and since more companies are developing a conscience when it comes to the environmental impact of their purchases and investments, Cisco has taken a “green” approach to the Aironet 1140. It operates using standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet at less than 12.95 watts of power, and Cisco says it decreases power consumption by as much as 20 percent by automatically lowering energy use during off-peak hours and periods of minimal connections.

The AP can also be ordered in a new “Eco-Pack,” a ten-access-point bulk pack ($12,990) that reduces packaging by up to 50 percent.

“There’s a few ways we feel we’re being green,” said Gibson. “We’ve been able to deliver a high-performance, high-capacity AP with less power. We package the product itself, in an Eco-Pak pack, a ten pack, because when they deploy 100 or 1,000, they don’t need 1000 boxes and manuals. The third area that we’re looking closely at is how can we have the wireless network self-tune, so that during off hours, with light or no usage, you can tune down power on that network,so the APs aren’t consuming power that isn’t being used.”

Naomi Graychase is Managing Editor at Wi-Fi Planet.

Originally published on .

Comment and Contribute
(Maximum characters: 1200). You have
characters left.