Cisco ships new 802.11n AP to resolve power issue

New AP also has sleeker design, easier management

Needing to add power injectors to older PoEs would ultimately increase costs, so the 1140 with full "n" performance over standard PoE and its "sleek" design will provide needed benefits, Lapham said.

The 802.11n speeds of 100Mbit/sec. will "open doors for mobility that didn't previously exist," he added. "As applications get more complex and require more throughput to function properly, the standard 802.11 a/g connectivity just isn't enough. With the number of wireless devices growing, it is imperative for the infrastructure to grow proportionally." Using 802.11n reduces the number of APs needed as well, since 'n' provides greater range, Lapham added.

Craig Mathias, an analyst at The Farpoint Group, said his laboratory testing showed that early 802.11n APs required nearly 13 watts of power to operate all the radios inside, which was above the 11 watts available under standard PoE. But power sequencing in the APs can overcome the problem, something that Siemens included in its 802.11n APs, Mathias noted.

Mathias predicted that vendors would come up with 802.11n products that use the same approach to standard PoE. Cisco deserves credit for making the correction to the 802.11n APs and has been "very, very competitive" in the AP space, he said, leading the field in enterprise and residential AP shipments. Competitors include Motorola, Aruba Networks, Hewlett-Packard and Trapeze Networks, he said.

Aside from PoE capabilities, however, Mathias said Cisco has built in the ability to use beam-forming technology in the M-Drive software to improve throughput for legacy 802.11a/g devices on the same network and to improve capacity and reduce coverage holes.

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