You’ve all heard the saying “think outside the box” when encouraging someone to be creative and come up with new ideas, new ways to do things, new ways to…..just about anything.  Well, I’d like to take a small twist on the well-known saying and talk for a moment on how deploying outdoor Wi-Fi access points should be something you should be “thinking” about.

We all know that here in late 2013 almost everywhere you go, you can pull out your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and you will find Wi-Fi coverage, be it at your workplace, at a coffee shop, or in a retail store.  Why is Wi-Fi coverage so pervasive in these areas?  Because connecting to Wi-Fi access points and the data network behind them makes employees more productive, enables the coffee shop to be the new remote office (while selling more coffee and cakes), and provides the retail store the ability to gather analytics to better target offers for their customers.

Now let’s think about expanding this coverage to outdoors….outside the buildings.  The same holds true.  Providing Wi-Fi access in the surrounding outdoor locations frees up employees to take their laptops outside and enjoy a nice, sunny day while still being “online” for secure corporate email and business tools.  It allows the employee to connect to that important WebEx meeting he is running late for as he pulls into the parking lot. It allows the retail store to engage with customers thru Cisco’s Connected Mobile Experiences (CMX) earlier and push offers to them as they walk in from the parking lot, perhaps pulling customers headed to nearby stores who might otherwise not have stopped in.

Aironet 1530 Series Outdoor Wireless Access Points: Click to see comparison table

Cisco has a complete portfolio of outdoor products and the new 1530 Series Outdoor Access Points are ideally positioned to address these new deployment applications.  Its flexibility in deployment mode (unified, mesh, or autonomous) allows the user to implement whichever mode is appropriate for that location with the same hardware.  Its sleek appearance and low visual footprint make it the perfect choice for providing this outdoor coverage while remaining unobtrusive. Although small and lightweight, it still provides full 802.11n dual radio performance for superior throughput and range.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to think “outside the building” as you consider expanding your Wi-Fi networks.


David Wolf

Product Manager - WNBU