Cisco adds to its outdoor wireless mesh line

The new Aironet 1505 access point is designed for service providers and municipalities

Cisco this week will extend its outdoor wireless mesh product line with a low-end access point.

The new model is part of a push by Cisco to offer service providers and municipalities a complete, integrated bundle of products, from access points to core switches and associated network security and management, for outdoor networks based on the IEEE 802.11 standard.

The new Aironet 1505 access point is a compact, sealed box with a single 802.11b/g radio. Designed for fast, simple mounting on structures such aslight poles or towers, the 1505 is intended for linking wireless clients to the mesh in outlying or less populated areas, and uses the same radio to pass the traffic to a neighboring mesh node.

It complements the existing Aironet 1510 two-radio model, which includes a dedicated 802.11a radio for carrying packets between the mesh nodes.

Both access points link with Cisco wireless LAN controllers for centralized administration of services such as mobile guest access, voice, security and other services. The controllers can administer a combination indoor-outdoor wireless network of Cisco access points.

Since introducing the two-radio 1510 a year ago, Cisco has been aggressively marketing its products to the exploding municipal wireless market. Though late to that market compared with much smaller rivals such as BelAir, Firetide and Tropos, Cisco's product bundle and brand have created some notable wins, including a project to blanket 1,500 square miles of the Silicon Valley. Other recent wins include a flock of smaller municipalities such as Santa Rosa, Calif., Greensboro and Winston-Salem, N.C., and Upper Merion Township, Pa.

To simplify those deployments, Cisco has integrated and tested its various network components, says Joel Vincent, senior manager for outdoor wireless marketing, with Cisco's Mobility Solutions group. The idea is to create a kind of Chinese menu of interchangeable parts that can be upgraded to create wireless networks, and the associated infrastructure for them, that can cover wide areas, dense user populations, or both.

The 1505 mesh access point is available now, priced at US$3,000.

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