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Cisco Launches Mesh, WLAN Management Products

As has long been expected, Cisco Systems Tuesday launched a line of wireless mesh products aimed at municipal wireless deployments and also new products aimed at enabling centralized management of enterprise wireless LANs.

The company said that the mesh products are a natural outgrowth of how the wireless market has been evolving.

"The market drivers that propelled widespread wireless adoption in the home and enterprise are now spurring a new demand to provide outdoor ubiquitous connectivity by wireless mesh technologies," Alan S. Cohen, senior director of Cisco's wireless networking business unit, said in a statement. "With Cisco's Wi-Fi mesh solution, cities and local service providers will be able to implement a secure and self-healing outdoor wireless network that not only gives the public access to the Internet, but allows cities to roll-out new and advanced services that build upon their existing indoor networks and applications."

Cisco said that its mesh products will be supported by HP and IBM. It said that two cities that will be using the products are Dayton, Ohio and Lebanon, Oregon. The company said the mesh equipment uses what it is calling Adaptive Wireless Path Protocol, which it said is designed specifically for large outdoor deployments. The new technology adaptively routes data among access points.

The mesh announcement was tied to Cisco's other announcement of its routing and switching platforms aimed at providing greater centralized control over enterprise WLANs. Specifically, the company unveiled the Cisco Wireless Service Module (WiSM) for the Catalyst 6500 Series switches and the Wireless LAN Controller Module for the Integrated Services Router family of products.

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