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Sources: Cisco Preps MIMO Map

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) plans to introduce a modular high-speed wireless LAN networking access point by the end of the year to address the needs of customers wanting faster corporate WiFi networks, industry sources tell Unstrung.

So-called “pre-802.11n” WiFi systems are already becoming prevalent in the home. They use smart antenna designs known as multiple input multiple output (MIMO) to deliver 100-Mbit/s-plus data transfer speeds for higher capacity wireless LAN applications.

An industry source says Cisco now has a strategy in place that he describes as a “migration path” to 802.11n. “Cisco is addressing the needs of corporate America, which is screaming out for higher bandwidth,” he says.

”They’re moving fast on this,” the source tells Unstrung. He suggests that Cisco will have product by the end of the year.

So what is this strategy? Another industry source suggests that Cisco is working on a modular access point that will initially support current 802.11a/g standards but be upgradeable to 802.11n with a radio swap. Yet another source says that this modular MIMO radio could be, ahh, sourced from chipmaker Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL).

Cisco is by no means the only enterprise WLAN to be eyeing high-speed WiFi as a competitive advantage in the tooth-and-nail world of corporate 802.11 sales. Bluesocket Inc. has already brought out a pre-802.11n access point based on Airgo Networks Inc. ’s chipset. (See Bluesocket's Performance Play.) Meanwhile Aruba Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: ARUN) is working with Ruckus Wireless Inc. on high-speed products. (See Aruba, Ruckus Team on WiFi Gear.)

Cisco has not commented publicly on its high-speed WiFi roadmap. Company spokespeople declined to be interviewed for this article.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung and Carmen Nobel, Senior Editor, Light Reading

wap545 12/5/2012 | 3:50:58 AM
re: Sources: Cisco Preps MIMO Map The real question here is this for their indoor Airespace product or will it also address their planned upgrade (making it more then 2 radios)to the Wireless Outdoor Mesh (1500 Series)??
This is important in that the Pre 802.11n products in an enterprise roll out will not have to contend with interference and lack of interoperability with existing (802.11a/b/g)radios, since they own the network. If anyone deploys a Pre N radio in a public Metro Mesh market where the 802.11a/b/g systems dominate they will fail and cause major problems for everyone.

Jacomo
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