Aruba Brings Wi-Fi to Wall Plates

By Sean Michael Kerner

January 12, 2012

802.11n with GbE backhaul in a wallplate is now a reality.

The typical Wi-Fi deployment today involves access points deployed in hallways or rooms as standalone boxes. As the move towards pervasive wireless access grows, so too have the demands on wireless infrastructure. That's where Aruba Networks (NASDAQ:ARUN) is aiming to fill a gap with a new wall mountable access point.

The AP-93H is a 2x2 MIMO 802.11n access point that can be installed on a standard wall mount for wired Ethernet access. The AP-93H has a gigabit uplink port for high-speed connectivity to the wired network for access. The access point is a dual band radio operating in either the 2.4 Ghz or the 5 Ghz ranges. On the software side the device includes the Linux-powered Aruba OS

Among the target markets for the AP-93H are hotel and dorm room type deployments.

"Over the past few years, the number of mobile devices have really exploded," Manish Rai, head of Industry Solutions for Aruba, told InternetNews.com. "I think we have reached a tipping point where it makes sense to increase the capacity and move to an in-room deployment for better coverage."

Rai noted that in a university dorm room there could be as many as a dozen devices running in a single room and all of them need connectivity. By putting the access point in the same room where the access is needed, an organization can improve coverage as well as providing more bandwidth where needed.

Aruba also recognizes that there are still wired devices too, which is why the AP-93H also includes 4x100 Mbps LAN ports for wired access. As to why the AP-93H does not have 1 Gbps on the in-room port side, Rai said it's a matter of cost.

The AP-93H is a Power over Ethernet (PoE) device so it can be powered and get access from the single GbE uplink port. Rai noted that the PoE capabilities are not pass-through and as such the in-room ports cannot be used to power other devices.

"Needs keep evolving but this product fills a gap in our protfilio and makes our portfolio complete for the time being. But clearly, technology keeps evolveing and we conintue to look to the future," he said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.



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