Interop: Cisco Rolls Out WLAN Interference Management Tools

The 3500 Series APs include CleanAir, a Cisco-patented application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) that detects and identifies sources of wireless interference, then adjusts the APs to overcome them. According to Cisco, CleanAir can pick out up to 20 unique interference sources, including everything from microwave ovens and XBox controllers to video cameras and Bluetooth devices.

The goal, said Cisco, is to provide customers with better network management for their WLANs and also help overcome interference in a fraction of the time most WLAN troubleshooting takes. CleanAir capabilities will also be found in the recent version 7.0 release of Cisco's Unified Wireless Network software.

"This is unique in terms of interference in the network environment. It's not just an alarm system," said Chris Kozup, senior manager, mobility solutions for Cisco. "One of the challenges and fears for VARs is ongoing support.

Cisco will officially announce the 3500 Series Tuesday at Interop in Las Vegas. The APs will be available in May and price from $1,095 to $1,495.

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"The growth in interference sources is increasing," Kozup offered. "The challenge is how do we protect performance of the 11n network and maintain our support costs in light of all these uses."

Cisco on Tuesday also debuted the Aironet 1260 Series, a new collection of 802.11n access points with standard Power over Ethernet, starting at $995. It further announced plans for a limited lifetime warranty for Cisco Aironet 1140, 1250, 1260 and 3500 series access points, covering both standalone and controller-based configurations.