Cisco rolls out 4x4 MIMO Wi-Fi access point

Cisco Systems has released its Aironet 3600 Wi-Fi access point, a four-antenna multiple-input/multiple-output (4x4 MIMO) unit with three spatial streams that is aimed at expanding coverage for enterprises. The 4x4 MIMO trend has been developing at the service provider level and in the consumer market for some time already.

The 802.11n product is being released at a time when much of the Wi-Fi sector has been talking about the coming 802.11ac standard, but Cisco points out in reports about the new product that 802.11ac will probably happen first at the consumer level.

The Aironet 3600 also supports 802.11r, the fast roaming standard for improving hand-offs from one access point to another in a large coverage area. The company said the new product includes ClientLink 2.0 beam-forming capability, which delivers greater downlink performance to all of the devices within range of an access point, rather than just those that are closest to it.

The product also includes the vendor's CleanAir technology, which scans multiple channels to look for the cleanest, most secure channel to use for transmission.

These features are likely to appeal to corporate enterprises pursuing bring-your-own-device strategies, allowing them to let more devices on their networks with some assurances that performance and security won't be compromised.

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