Cisco launches new 'g' wireless devices

By Lindsay Bruce, |  Mobile & Wireless

Cisco Systems Inc. introduced a lineup of new products during its wireless LAN (WLAN) advanced technology event in San Jose on Wednesday that, according to one customer, are necessary for running today's businesses.

Included on the list of new product announcements are Cisco's Aironet 1200 and 1100 series of Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) 802.11g Access Point (AP) products.

The company's new devices provide a maximum data rate of 54MBbps and were designed to be backward compatible with Cisco Aironet, Cisco Compatible 802.11b clients and the Cisco Wireless IP Phone 7920. The company is providing a migration path for the Cisco Aironet 1200 and 1100 series 802.11b APs with 802.11g radio upgradeable modules, the company said.

Larry Birenbaum, senior vice-president of the Ethernet access technology group at Cisco, said the company is offering a software upgrade after ratification of the IEEE 802.11i standard in 2004 for advanced Encryption standard (AES) -- which is already supported in the hardware and will be enabled for all Cisco Aironet 802.11g products next year.

Cisco's Aironet 1100 series is priced at US$599 and its Cisco Aironet 1200 series is priced at US$899. Both are expected to ship this month.

Also on the agenda at Wednesday's conference, Cisco, along with independent research firm NOP World Technology, released a report highlighting the development of WLAN adoption.

The report, entitled 2003 Wireless LAN Benefits Study, is the second such study the firm has done for Cisco. The first was conducted in 2001.

Key results derived from the report indicated that since the report in 2001, there has been significant productivity growth and greater financial gains observed by organizations that have deployed a larger number of WLANs.

When it comes to Wi-Fi, Rob Redford, vice-president of product and technology marketing at Cisco, said customers are looking for three things: businesses want to have more time for their employees; they are looking to save and make more money; and they want enhanced business opportunities.

With this in mind, the study found that end users noticed a 27 percent increase in productivity and, on average, they were connected to the network three-and-a-half hours more per day -- up from the one-and-three-quarter hour increase organizations observed in 2001.

The 2003 study also indicated that growth in WLAN deployment is not only increasing within organizations, but in key hotspot locations including airport lounges, coffee shops and hotels.

Matthew Nuss, vice-president of operations at Hotel Valencia in San Jose, said during Wednesday's event that his hotel chose to deploy Wi-Fi connectivity from Cisco because it needed to stand out from the crowd.

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