For small businesses without a dedicated IT team, wireless can be a pretty tricky subject. Cisco is looking to address these concerns with its latest latest line in 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless products, including the scalable Aironet wireless access points and a new version of Cisco’s Mobility Express software to manage the whole environment.
An updated version of Mobility Express could be the trick to the current announcement since it provides support for “fast lane” technology that Cisco and Apple have been developing since their partnership in 2015. In this situation, Cisco notes that customers can choose the Apple iOS applications they want to receive prioritized network bandwidth. Mobility Express includes all of the embedded intelligence needed to run and manage wireless networks of small and medium sized businesses. The package now supports up to 100 access points, while the previous version was limited to 25. The software supports the 802.11ac Wave 2 standards and other features that were previously only available in high performance, standalone WLAN controllers. According to Cisco Enterprise Mobility Solutions manager, Bill Rubino, this will allow small businesses to offer the same high speed wireless networks that larger organizations use.
Looking at the new hardware, the Aironet 1815 devices are available in four different configurations, the 1815i is the overall ideal solution for any small-to-midsized business; 1815t is targeted for teleworks and micro-branch deployments; The 1815w is targeted at hospitality, residential halls or other multi-dwelling units and the 1815m has more transmit power for budget-conscious organizations that need a wide coverage zone.
All products will be available in April aside from the 3504 which will be available around June. Pricing for the 3504 has not been set. Pricing for the other devices goes like this: Aironet 1540 Outdoor AP: $995; Aironet 1815 Indoor Series AP: 1815i (Infrastructure) AP: $495; 1815t (teleworker) AP: $595; 1815w (wallplate) AP: $495; 1815m (higher coverage) AP: $595.