Cisco has revealed new products based on the next-generation 802.11ac wireless networking standard that offer data transfer speeds of up to one gigabit per second – fast enough to download significant amounts of Web content and run streaming video simultaneously.
The new products, which are already being adopted around the world by hospitals, universities, law firms and other organizations, will enable businesses to more easily support the growing number of devices connected to their wireless networks and the high performance of high-bandwidth applications, such as HD streaming video, Web conferencing, and data backup and transfers.
The 802.11ac standard and Cisco's new product offerings arrive at a time when businesses are becoming increasingly complex and placing intense bandwidth demands on the network, caused by the growing number of employee-owned mobile devices. These demands will only increase, and by 2017, as mobile network connection speeds increase, the average bit rate of content accessed through the mobile network will increase. High-definition video will be more prevalent, and the proportion of streamed content as compared to side-loaded content is also expected to increase with average mobile network connection speed, according to Cisco research.
Operating in the 5GHz range, 802.11ac allows customers to provide end users with greater speeds and access to more bandwidth-intensive applications. Cisco's field-upgradeable modules help ensure high performance for connected users and also extend the battery life of mobile devices.
The Methodist Hospital System and the University of New South Wales (UNSW) are early adopters of Cisco's 802.11ac products. Methodist is Houston's third largest health system and listed among U.S. News World and Report's best hospitals, and UNSW is a leading Australian research and teaching university. Both organizations wanted to accommodate mobile devices in greater quantity and provide them with better performance. After deploying Cisco's 802.11n products and with plans to further upgrade their networks to .11ac, these customers can now provide the capacity required to support the growing influx of personal devices from employees, doctors, students, faculty and staff.
The enterprise-class 802.11ac Access Point – The 802.11ac Wave 1 Module for the Cisco Aironet 3600 Series, announced in October 2012, is available now and shipping to select customers. This module supports Wi-Fi speeds of up to 1.3Gbps and delivers extraordinary investment protection and wireless network leadership – allowing customers to decide when and where to deploy wireless today and cost-effectively migrate to the high capacity 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard in the future.
Support for 802.11ac Wave 2 Module –Cisco's aggressive plans include future versions of the Cisco Aironet 3600 Series field upgrade module to support the second part of the 802.11ac standard Wave 2, which includes MU-MIMO for switchlike performance in a wireless environment and higher bandwidth support via additional spatial streams and channels.