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Cisco revamps its hardware for the new Wi-Fi technology

FILE PHOTO: A man passes under a Cisco logo at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 25, 2019. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

(Reuters) – Cisco Systems Inc said on Monday it is the roll-out of hardware for the next generation of Wi-Fi standards, giving a core part of the $28.2 billion infrastructure refresh and in the process aimed at garnering more sales.

Cisco announced new access points and switches for companies for the Wi-Fi-6, a new standard expected to roll out by 2022. Phones, laptops and other devices connecting to the Cisco access points on corporate campuses and carry the traffic to the switches, which connect to a business’s wired network.

Cisco, which controls about 45 percent of the market for corporate Wi-Fi systems, according to research firm IDC, is the release of the hardware, and for most phones and laptops have a chip to take advantage of the Wi-Fi-6.

The new network technology is designed to be a modest speed increase, but also to solve some of the biggest problems of the current Wi-Fi networks. The new standard is designed to prevent bogging down when the current spread of television, security cameras, smart speakers, sensors and other gadgets to hop on.

A new aspect of the networks that consumers will notice is the deeper ties with the 5G wireless networks that will come around the same time mobile providers. When new networks are in place, for example, a hotel guest phone may move from 5G to a hotel’s Wi-Fi network after the check-in, without needing to make use of a name or password.

“There is a much stronger link, and the relationship and the transfer that takes place,” Gordon Thomson, Cisco’s vice president of enterprise networking sales, told Reuters.

Many of these new features will come because there is a greater use of the software for controlling the traffic on the wireless networks. To take advantage of that, Cisco is the largest selling switch for enterprise networks and the rollout of a new state will be to more software, Cisco sells along with it.

Brandon Butler, a senior research analyst for IDC, said: that is a part of Cisco’s longer-term strategy in the recent years for deriving a larger part of the network infrastructure of the revenue from software, which can be sold on a subscription basis for more stable revenue than hardware sales.

The new device “brings that back-end switch in accordance with the broader network software strategy,” he said. “This is an evolution for the company, a hardware-based model to a software-based model.”

Reporting by Stephen Nellis; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall

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