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Cisco Tackles Enterprise Radio Frequency Challenges


Teams with Cognio to Drive Radio Frequency Leadership with Best-in-Class Enterprise Wi-Fi Spectrum Analysis and Security Tools

SAN JOSE, Calif., October 3, 2006 - Cisco Systems® today announced that it is teaming with Cognio to address a significant and growing issue facing pervasive enterprise deployments of Wi-Fi networks - radio frequency (RF) interference. The two companies are uniting efforts to improve the performance of WLAN networks at scale, to support a range of applications, and to combat issues posed by non-802.11 devices, which further strengthens enterprise wireless LAN (WLAN) security. Customers benefit by having a cutting-edge RF spectrum analysis and security solution that complements and enhances a Cisco® Unified Wireless Network.

“RF management should be a priority in any enterprise wireless LAN deployment,” said Zeus Kerravala, senior vice president enterprise research, Yankee Group. “To fully realize the potential of a wireless network, it is critical to have an understanding of the RF environment and a means of managing RF conflicts. For any enterprise wireless LAN to scale, RF must be taken into account.”

Complementing Cisco’s Wireless Control System (WCS), Cisco will now offer Cognio’s Spectrum Expert, a Wi-Fi spectrum analysis and monitoring tool. Working with WCS, Spectrum Expert gives information technology (IT) managers in-depth analysis and reporting of the air waves, thus giving administrators a keen insight to RF issues, conflicts and detailed insights for resolving wireless network interferences.

Additionally, by allowing an analysis of RF usage in a working environment, enterprises can strengthen their WLAN security by determining the impact of non-Wi-Fi devices. They can for example, identify and isolate rogue devices used for unauthorized network access, Denial of Service attacks, spoofing and more.

“RF Spectrum analysis is a valuable tool that can effectively increase the ROI of a WLAN deployment, said David Bond, wireless systems consultant, Cumulus Consulting Group. ”The ability to diagnose and repair problems in the physical layer means that you can improve the reliability and security of the Wi-Fi network. Having a reliable Wi-Fi network allows customers to use the network for business-critical applications, such as voice over Wi-Fi.

“By teaming with Cognio, Cisco is able to provide customers with a comprehensive view of their airspace and more importantly, a means for proactively managing their Wi-Fi air quality,” said Brett Galloway, vice president and general manager, Wireless Networking Business Unit, Cisco Systems. “By optimizing access point placement and eliminating rogue devices, enterprises can utilize a variety of new mobility services, such as voice over Wi-Fi, location tracking or enhanced guest access.”
Why Spectrum Matters

The foundation of any wireless network stands on the radio link. Common workplace items such as cordless telephones, microwaves, and even fluorescent lights can overcrowd the wireless spectrum, and thus reduce zones of coverage and quality of service. Because RF waves are invisible, the optimization of access points can be a guessing game of what may be causing interference, or where access points should be placed for maximum strength, efficiency and coverage. One solution is to utilize RF spectrum analysis tools, which until recently have been cost prohibitive in most enterprise environments.

“Clean enterprise airspace is a limited resource,” said Jeff White, executive vice president of strategy at Cognio. “With Cisco and Cognio, IT administrators need not have x-ray vision to see the invisible airspace around them. They can manage their air from a single, unified point of control.”
Cisco Unified Wireless Network - Wireless Control System (WCS)

The Cisco Unified Wireless Network is the industry’s leading wired and wireless solution that cost-effectively addresses WLAN security, deployment, management and control issues. As a holistic solution, it combines elements of Cisco wireless and wired networking technologies to deliver secure, scalable WLANs with a low total cost of ownership.

Cisco Wireless Control System (WCS) is the industry leading platform for wireless LAN planning, configuration and management. Cisco WCS provides a powerful foundation that allows IT managers to design, control, and monitor enterprise wireless networks from a centralized location, simplifying operations and reducing the total cost of ownership.

More information about Cisco’s complete enterprise wireless solutions can be found at
About Cisco Systems

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Information about Cisco can be found at For ongoing news, go to

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