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Sources: Cisco Set To Launch Wireless Mesh Solution

Cisco Systems will make its long-anticipated entrance into the wireless mesh networking arena next week with a line of outdoor mesh products aimed at reducing the deployment costs involved in setting up indoor and outdoor networks, CRN has learned.

Solution providers have been expecting a wireless mesh product from Cisco since its March acquisition of Airespace, which was already developing its own wireless mesh offering.

Cisco is targeting the solution to enterprises seeking to move indoor Wi-Fi outside, as well as to municipalities that want to cover wide areas, and service providers looking to get into managed Wi-Fi services, according to internal Cisco documents viewed by CRN.

The Cisco solution is based on its proprietary Adaptive Wireless Path Protocol, a mesh routing technology designed to allow the wireless network to self-configure, self-optimize, resist interference and network downtime, and reduce network deployment costs. The protocol enables the mesh access points to automatically connect and authenticate to the Cisco WLAN controller and establish the most efficient network backhaul link, according to the documents.

There are two types of access points in the Cisco mesh solution: One is a gateway connected to the wired network, designed to be mounted on rooftops and towers. This rooftop access point uses 802.11a to link up to 32 Aironet 1500 lightweight mesh access points, designed to be mounted on street lights and utility poles, according to the documents.

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