CCIE Pursuit Blog

September 4, 2007

Off Topic: Cisco Announces New 802.11n Wireless Access Point

Filed under: Cisco,Wireless,Work — cciepursuit @ 5:03 pm

Sorry for the off topic posting, but since I’m a big wireless geek (if they ever develop a wireless CCIE track, I’m all over that sucker) I was very happy to see this announcement.  I have a running  bet with one of my collegues that by 2012 the majority of corporate end users will access the network wirelessly.  I’m not sure that I’ll win that bet, but this is good news. 

Computer World  – Cisco jumps into 802.11n wireless market with new access point

September 04, 2007 (Computerworld) Cisco Systems Inc. is diving into the emerging 802.11n wireless market with its first 802.11n-based Ethernet access point (AP), the Aironet 1250, which will offer higher speeds and greater reliability for a wide range of enterprise-ready wireless devices.

In an announcement today, Cisco said the new AP is based on the emerging 802.11n Draft 2 standard, which is still a year or more away from being adopted as a final standard.

The move is being made now, according to the company, because some chip makers and laptop hardware manufacturers have been building 802.11n Draft 2 features into their new products, making them ready for use under the new draft standards. “There’s lots of momentum behind it,” said Ben Gibson, director of mobility solutions at Cisco.

The Aironet 1250, which will be available for sale next month starting at $1,299 each, is the first wireless product to be certified for the 802.11n standard by the Wi-Fi Alliance standards body, which reviews and compiles the standards, according to Gibson.

Cisco also said that upcoming 802.11n access points can be powered over their Ethernet connections, making them much easier to deploy. That’s important, Gibson said, because they are often placed in ceilings and other remote locations where an electrical outlet is not available, making their installation more complicated.

The move to the 802.11n wireless standard offers customers a theoretical maximum bandwidth of 300MB/sec. That’s up from today’s theoretical maximum of 54MB/sec. using the 802.11g wireless standard.

“Customers are looking at the prospect of an exponential increase both of the quantity and diversity of Wi-Fi-enabled devices that are going to be coming into the business market,” Gibson said. “These devices will need a higher-speed network with higher reliability; that’s going to be the driver. Will this happen overnight? Absolutely not.”

Craig Mathias, an analyst at Farpoint Group in Ashland, Mass., said it’s a major endorsement of the emerging 802.11n standard by Cisco. For many other vendors in the market, he said, the question has been, Should they wait for the final standard to be adopted, or should they move to bring out products based on the Draft 2 standard? With Cisco’s move and adoption of the Draft 2 standard, the floodgates may soon open, Mathias said.

“My feeling is that [Cisco] is happy with what the Wi-Fi Alliance has done” in creating the latest draft protocol, Mathias said. The standard could still change slightly, but Mathias said he believes it will be relatively close to the Draft 2 standard at final adoption. “What Cisco is basically saying is, ‘There’s a new technology available, the risk is very low, we know that customers want to buy it, so we’re in the game,'” he said.

With the prospect of better bandwidth, improved capacity and higher reliability, the move to 802.11n makes sense for Cisco, users and other vendors, he said. “The bottom line is it’s happening now,” Mathias said. “There’s no reason to wait.”



  1. I see this more as a “if you absolutely have to have .11n right now” kind of product. Couple of problems:
    1) The thing’s not entirely post ratification proof. Yeah, you can replace the radios if the standard materially changes and I’d estimate that it would cost you about 4 bills to it.
    2) The thing doesn’t run on .af power if you’re using *both* radios. The Q&A talks about “auto-negotiating, single-port power” but I have no idea WTH that means.

    I suspect you won’t be waiting long for your wireless track to get developed. Great blog BTW, I get a lot out of it.

    Comment by John Coke — September 4, 2007 @ 5:43 pm | Reply

  2. Good points John. This is definitely an early-adopter product. My company will probably buy a handfull of these APs for testing purposes. I doubt that we’ll put them out in the field. The funny thing is that I just read that Duke bought a few of these devices. After the whole iPhone debacle, you’d think that they would have backed away from Cisco WLAN products a bit. 🙂

    “2) The thing doesn’t run on .af power if you’re using *both* radios. The Q&A talks about “auto-negotiating, single-port power” but I have no idea WTH that means.”

    This is a HUGE liability. You’re either going to need to run electical outlets to the devices or run a redundant 802.11n network. Both options are cost-inhibitive, and the second option is going to give you RF frequency nightmares. Otherwise you could run an N network only, but then you’re forcing your clients to use N radios only. It’s interesting that Cisco touts the PoE capabilities in this article(“Cisco also said that upcoming 802.11n access points can be powered over their Ethernet connections, making them much easier to deploy” without mentioning the one radio handicap.

    Comment by cciepursuit — September 5, 2007 @ 4:19 pm | Reply

  3. Good day!,

    I’m just starting here. And it feels like a sweet place.

    I just wanted to give a friendly hello to all of you here.



    Comment by reassyecohync — October 25, 2007 @ 2:56 pm | Reply

  4. i’m eric. joining a couple boards and looking
    forward to participating. hehe unless i get
    too distracted!


    Comment by xztheericzx — November 4, 2007 @ 6:35 pm | Reply

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