The Small Cell Industry has gathered in London again – last week for the Small Cells World Summit, and this week for the Wireless Broadband Alliance Wi-Fi Global Congress.  The explosive growth of these two events over the past few years is a testament to the vital role that both licensed and unlicensed small cells are playing in Next Generation Mobile networks.

Cisco has been deploying carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks for many years, and we are in fact in our 4th generation of outdoor product.  We define carrier-grade as a controlled Wi-Fi network that is secure, robust, and scalable.  But increasingly we’ve heard a new requirement from our customers: make it invisible.

KN29159As Wi-Fi access points get deployed in beautiful, historic outdoor urban environments, operators are being asked to deploy networks that blend in.  Cisco has responded to this request with our sleek new Cisco 1530 Series Access Point.   The Cisco Aironet 1530 Series incorporates a low-profile design that is esthetically pleasing, yet can withstand the most rugged outdoor conditions.

But we didn’t stop there.  Cisco brings engineering innovation to the platform with unique “Antenna FlexPort” technology that allows the same antenna ports to be used for dual band antennas for reduced antenna footprint or as single band antennas for optimized radio coverage. This flexibility allows antenna changes to be made on the fly, and saves on sparing costs. And the 1530 Series brings all the same robust Wi-Fi features that operators have come to expect from Cisco, including Radio Resource Management, BandSelect to automatically take advantage of the 5Ghz band, and VideoStream for high quality video performance over Wi-Fi.  Only Cisco delivers all of these features in a hardened outdoor access point that is ideal for any urban setting.

BT has led the way on specifying this new design, and is one of the first operators to trial the Cisco 1530.  “We have the UK’s largest wi-fi network in major retailers, shopping centres, hotels, cafes and city centres. Outdoors our customers want unobtrusive, discreet technology that doesn’t interfere with their sites. We look forward to trialing the new Cisco access point.” Richard. McCabe, Head of Product Management, BT Wi-Fi.

We’re showing the new Cisco 1530 at the WBA Wi-Fi Congress this week.  Come take a peek (if you can spot it).