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Cisco Ships New, Cheaper Access Point

Enterprise network giant Cisco Systems this week announced its new Cisco Aironet 1100 Series Access Point. The Wi-Fi Certified, 802.11b-based product is the first wireless unit from the company based on the Cisco IOS networking system software.

Cisco IOS is incorporated into most of Cisco's series of wired routers and includes support for Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6). IPv6 is a more user-friendly specification for expanding use of IP addresses to devices both wireless and wired such as PDAs and appliances. Cisco expects to upgrade the current Aironet 1200 Series to support IOS by the first quarter of 2003.

The 1100 Series Access Point using Cisco IOS will be able to deploy up to 16 virtual LAN (VLAN) segments that can be split for different uses, such as video services or enhanced security, separating guest and company traffic, for example.

The unit will also support Proxy Mobile IP for segmenting a WLAN in a way similar to a wired land.

The radio inside the 1100 Series is in a miniPCI form factor like that in most notebooks with Wi-Fi , so it can be upgraded to support 802.11g better encryption in the future.

The 1100 Series can be installed not only on walls and ceilings, but also in the air space above suspended ceilings.

The MSRP for the Aironet 1100 Series is $599, and it should begin shipping this month.

Eric Griffith is managing editor of 802.11 Planet.