Cisco wireless network exec sort of speaks out

Galloway coy about 802.11n, touts WLAN integration and VoIP progress

What's the second type of wireless VOIP?

Dual-mode: cellular phones that can also handle voice over Wi-Fi. That's still nascent. NTT DoCoMo has a service in Japan, launched with an NEC dual-mode phone. Airespace worked with them on that. The appeal is that you have the enterprise WLAN VOIP experience moved to your cell phone, and you can use your cellular net for extending coverage. We have a joint effort with Nokia on a dual-mode phone, but that is more focused in GSM networks in Europe.

There's a lot of enterprise interest in location services, such as asset tracking, using "active RFID" tags, often based on Wi-Fi. What kind of success have you had with the Cisco 2700 Series Wireless Location Appliance?

It's been quite successful. The basic application is an active RFID tag, with the appliance calculating its location based on data from the access points. This is a service on a converged network.

Location is an attribute that the network is uniquely designed to determine. There is a broad range of capabilities and opportunities that can use this if they know location. You can use it to augment information about a user's presence on the net, for example.

We do continue to look at technologies enhancing accuracy. And at ways to integrate location into a broader set of applications and to enhance the wireless location data with data from other sources.

What are your priorities for 2007?

Continuing to turn 'services' into 'solutions,' involving partners, hardware and software products.

The second focus is executing our client strategy. A lot of these [wireless] applications depend on having a great user experience on the client device. Our CCX program and partner relationships are key to making sure customers have the best devices suited to their needs.

Third, most of what customers actually buy are WLAN access points. We continue to raise the bar on these. Radio frequency performance and management is important, and difficult. We continue to make our access points easier to operate, better performing and easier to troubleshoot.

Will you have 802.11n products in 2007?

We don't make future product announcements. Watch this space.

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John Cox

Network World

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