Further pushing the 802.11n draft wireless standard into mainstream acceptance, Cisco announced its first enterprise-grade 802.11n WLAN access point, the Aironet 1250, which will offer faster data transfer rates and increased reliability for a wide range of enterprise-ready wireless devices.

"This technology is real and ready for deployment," said Cisco marketing vice president Marciej Kranz. Intel's director of wireless marketing Randy Nickel agreed: "The changeover to N has exceeded our expectations." Although the standard is more than a year away from final approval by the IEEE, the pair said that the Wi-Fi Alliance's branding for Draft 2.0 of the standard was enough for users to trust products.
The Aironet 1250, which will be available for sale next month starting at $1,299, is capable of a theoretical rate of 300 Mbps, a considerable boost compared with today's maximum of 54Mbps using the 802.11g wireless standard. Furthermore, Cisco's 802.11n-based access point can be updated by software to address any changes made to the wireless specification in the future, so there should be no worries that it might fail to work with 802.11n clients.

Although other vendors have already backed 802.11n for business use, Cisco's backing is important and should boost adoption of the standard considerably as more vendors start to follow suit.