Cisco Aims To Improve Wireless Networks

A batch of hardware and software offerings are designed to make it easier for users to manage their wireless networks.

David Ewalt, Contributor

May 6, 2004

1 Min Read

Cisco Systems unveiled a number of new products that aim to improve the mobility and manageability of wireless networks.

When used in concert, the new hardware and software will let users easily integrate wireless services into their existing Cisco-based networks, centrally managing access points and obtaining better intelligence on network performance. The products also will provide seamless roaming from access point to access point, letting users maintain wireless voice over IP calls or VPN connections even when they're moving around a building or campus.

The major thrust of Wednesday's announcement is a new Wireless LAN Services Module for the Catalyst 6500 series switch, the company's most popular model. The device lists for $18,000 and includes a license for support of as many as 150 access points. It will be available in June.

Other new hardware isn't meant to be kept inside a server room. The Aironet 1300 access point and bridge is designed for use outside, where it has a range of 4.5 miles at 54 Mbps. Vehicles passing through its range can connect at speeds of more than 100 km per hour. The harware lists at $1,299 and will be available this month.

Accompanying the new hardware is the release of version 2.7 of Cisco's Wireless LAN Solutions Engine, software that allows for centralized management of access points. New features in the software include the ability to remotely and automatically adjust radio frequency and power of access points as needed. It's available now at no additional cost for customers with Cisco's SmartNet Maintenance plan.

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