Aruba jumps on 802.11n bandwagon

Enterprise WiFi infrastructure provider Aruba Network, the last major 802.11n holdout, announced its is entering the 802.11n access point game. The vendor announced a new generation of multi-service mobility controllers to enable unified communications such as FMC, along with 802.11n access points.

Earlier this year, Aruba had said that 802.11n wasn't ready for the enterprise since the standard wasn't finished. Cisco also warned that the draft 802.11n product had no guarantee of working together. But Cisco jumped into the 802.11n space in September.

What has changed? Michael Tennefoss, director of strategic marketing, told FierceBroadbandWireless that the draft 802.11n standard is far enough along that the company is convinced the final standard won't deviate much from the draft standard. Secondly, the company was sitting on its new 802.11n access point since June, but it was waiting for the second generation of chips that showed improvement in power consumption.

My how things can change in the matter of months. Cisco and Aruba, the two biggest vendors in the enterprise WiFi space, had earlier declared that most customers didn't need the throughput of 802.11n. Now many enterprises are pushing video services and looking for strategic replacement of of the wired Ethernet in certain areas of their businesses. 802.11n significantly improves data throughput and coverage of existing 802.11-based technologies.

"We're now at a point that customer can choose which is better: copper or wireless," Tennefoss said. "N has leveled the playing field with copper with respect to connectivity and performance."

For more about Aruba's 802.11n plans:
- check out this release