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Interop Preview: Wi-Fi, Mesh Networks High On Vendors' To-Do Lists

With the Interop trade show set to open next week in Las Vegas, several vendors are getting the jump on the event by breaking news in what figures to be one of the show's key areas -- wireless networks.

On Tuesday, Cisco Systems announced an alliance led primarily by Intel, Nokia and Research In Motion (RIM) that seeks to drive enterprise adoption of voice-ready wireless networks. Cisco's contribution to this -- an updated Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) program -- provides voice-ready wireless capabilities that its partners can build on to bring voice over Wi-Fi to the enterprise.

Ben Gibson, Cisco's director of mobility solutions, says the introduction of CCX into wireless will enable developers to take the technology into areas it hasn't been able to reach before.

"By expanding the scope of the program to include mobile systems, we'll be able to ensure the highest level of reliability in wireless networks," he says. "We think this area will be one of our key drivers for growth over the next few years."

Voice-ready wireless allows enterprises to extend the mobility benefits of wireless data networks to their voice tasks, and Cisco and CCX will enable Intel, Nokia, RIM and others to enhance their own technology with the new features.

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