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Aruba Cuts Prices With New 802.11n Access Point

Aruba Networks has launched the latest member of their 802.11n family. The AP-105 offers a small footprint, enterprise class features and a limited lifetime warranty all for an aggressive list price of $695. Along with the new AP, Aruba is offering price cuts on its existing stable of 802.11n gear.
The AP-105 is a dual radio 802.11n access point designed to integrate with the full range of features on Aruba's WLAN controllers. Built as an entry-level unit, the AP-105 balances performance with aggressive pricing. Unlike its high-end siblings, the new access point only offers 2x2 MIMO, instead of 3x3 of the AP-125, and it lacks an external antenna option. At a list price of $695, the performance gap will be easy for most corporate offices to swallow, considering that the new access point still features Gigabit Ethernet and works under standard 802.3af Power over Ethernet.  
The aggressive pricing on the new entry level AP-105, as well as the new sub-$1000 pricing on the existing AP-124/AP-125 access points, will certainly put pressure on competitors such as Cisco and Motorola to discount their own gear in response. The move will also serve to thwart encroachment from a number of the upstart WLAN vendors. Smaller vendors, notably Ruckus Wireless, have been moving into to larger deployments, leveraging their price points against the fuller feature sets of the bigger vendors. Combined with their recently announced Branch Office Controllers, Aruba has delivered a one-two punch to address smaller enterprises.
For enterprise customers, Aruba's new access point could represent the beginning of the end of the price premiums for enterprise-class 802.11n gear. Since the launch of pre-spec equipment over two years ago, vendors have been garnering "early adopter" pricing from their customers. With a ratified standard and a broadening of product lines, customers should expect the next generation of wireless networks to reach price points that even small enterprises can afford.