SAN JOSE, CA – Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) – Today, organizations of all sizes are looking to improve day-to-day business operations, are striving to be profitable, increase brand awareness, and advance their technology to remain nimble and competitive. They want new ways to securely manage the increased use of mobile devices in the workplace and expand the amount of bandwidth offered to employees and guests, to support new network applications.
To help organizations meet infrastructure demands while managing complex networks, Cisco’s newly formed Cloud Networking Group today announced the Cisco Meraki MR34, the first 100 percent cloud managed WiFi 5 or 802.11ac access point. This solution, which marries the latest Wi-Fi standard with innovations in security and management, allows businesses to support more users on the network, provide highly secure access, increase wireless speeds, and easily manage their wireless networking from the cloud.
The WiFi 5 or 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard offers up to 1.3 Gbps of wireless connection speed, nearly three times the capacity of the previous WiFi 4 or 802.11n standard. With the speed of 802.11ac:
- A student can download a 4 Gigabit HD movie from iTunes onto a smartphone in 2 minutes.
- Fans can download the entire seasons one and two of Game of Thrones from iTunes in 8 minutes, 34 seconds.
- All 1,090,921 tweets using the hashtag #royalbaby could be transmitted in less than 1 minute [2.53 GB of data].
- The entire printed United States Library of Congress (10 Terabytes) can be downloaded in 12 days. On 3G, this same task would take seven years.
One customer using WiFi 5 today is the Milpitas Unified School District, which serves more than 9,000 students in Milpitas, California. The Milpitas Unified School District, which operates nine elementary schools, two middle schools and two high schools, relies on Cisco’s cloud managed network, including wireless, switching and security, to support its more than 2,000 Google Chromebooks over its wireless network with another 8,000 to be issued to the students this fall.
The Milpitas Unified School District plans to implement Cisco Meraki’s WiFi 5 solution in its Technology Learning Centers to provide students with increased capacity and access to web-based learning, including personalized education in math, reading, spelling and much more. This web-based learning initiative is aligned with the new Common Core State Standards and students are assessed on their progress and academic growth.
“Wireless access is a critical component of the 21st century classroom of today, so teachers can integrate the technology they need in the classroom, whether it is one-to-one devices or other mobile technology that improves learning and engages students in the digital world they live in today,” said Chin Song, director of technology, Milpitas Unified School District. “We are working with Cisco to deploy wireless across our Technology Learning Centers and we’re looking ahead to WiFi 5. As we prepare for back to school season and the demand for the use of mobile devices in the classroom, we want increased speeds and a network that is reliable and easy to manage.”
Product Highlights and Features:
- High-Speed 802.11ac Wi-Fi with Application Traffic Shaping – The MR34 provides a 1.75 Gbps data rate nearly double the capacity of existing WiFi 5 access points. It supports more mobile devices and high-bandwidth applications compared to legacy networks. The MR34 features unique capabilities that allow users to prioritize traffic from business-critical applications like voice and video conferencing, while blocking unwanted traffic such as peer-to-peer file sharing.
- Dedicated Security Radio – Built for the needs of security-conscious environments such as retail, healthcare, and financial services, the MR34 includes a unique third radio that is dedicated to scanning the surrounding Radio Frequency (RF) environment for strong protection against wireless attacks and interference.
- Cloud-Based Features – The MR34 includes powerful cloud-based features; from multi-site management to Facebook login for brand exposure, location analytics, and integrated mobile device management (MDM). The MR34 is part of a complete cloud-managed solution, new features continually delivered from the cloud.
- Seamless Migration from Legacy 802.11 a/b/g/n Networks – The MR34 allows operators of legacy 802.11 a/b/g/n networks to easily adopt to the new WiFi 5 standard. Featuring zero-touch provisioning, the MR34 is automatically configured remotely via the cloud. Support of mixed WiFi 5 and 802.11 a/b/g/n networks, compatibility with legacy clients, and backward compatibility with legacy 802.3af Power over Ethernet (PoE) enable gradual migration of legacy networks.
Software-Centric Opportunities for Partners
The introduction of the MR34 is consistent with Cisco’s strategy to offer more software-centric solutions that create new business opportunities for system integrators and value-added resellers (VARs). With the MR34 access point, channel partners can gain subscription-based software revenue, and access to midmarket and enterprise customers seeking a high capacity cloud-based solution. When managed through the Cisco Meraki Managed Services Dashboard, the MR34 provides partners with a new cloud-based service, drastically reducing the time to market and resulting in minimal capital costs.
Pricing and Availability
The new Cisco Meraki MR34 WiFi 5 cloud-managed wireless access point will be generally available in late summer 2013 at a list price of $1399. The MR34 also includes a lifetime warranty.