Xirrus Launches Industry-First 802.11ac Investment Protection Program

Modular Wireless Switch Delivers 802.11ac Upgrade Path to Next Generation Wireless Technology Without the Expensive ‘Rip-and-Replace’ of Traditional Access Points
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Oct. 2, 2012 – Xirrus®, the leader in high-performance wireless networks, today announced the industry's first 802.11ac Pre-order Program that allows enterprises to deploy wireless today and cost-effectively migrate to the emerging high capacity 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard in the future. Xirrus also announced the new XR-2200 Series field-upgradable Wireless Array supporting two open slots that will accept Xirrus 802.11ac modular access points when available. Together, the new solutions deliver superior investment protection in the dynamic environment of wireless by delivering upgradability based on a switch-like modular system.

With traffic on wireless networks doubling yearly, and on target to overtake wired traffic by 2014, the ability of infrastructure to keep pace with growth is more important than ever. Organizations cannot afford to rip-and-replace equipment every few years as network capacity becomes saturated or as new wireless standards emerge. The Xirrus 802.11ac Pre-Order Program and XR Array solutions address these challenges.

"Given that corporate networking environments are changing fast and new Wi-Fi products are emerging all the time, upgradability is resonating very well with customers today," said Maribel Lopez, founder and principal of Lopez Research. "Business should look for WLAN solutions that offer easy upgrade paths that can support everything from sophisticated devices such as the iPhone to bandwidth-intense applications such as video-on-demand."

Upgradable to 802.11ac
The emerging 802.11ac wireless standard is expected to be finalized by the IEEE in mid-2013 and enterprise Wi-Fi equipment based on the new standard to be shipping by that timeframe. With up to 1.3Gbps maximum data rates in its initial version, 802.11ac provides over three times the maximum performance of today’s 802.11n standard. Future versions of 802.11ac will move the performance bar even higher. With consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets expected to adopt the new standard, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) trend will bring the technology into enterprise networks sooner than later.

New 802.11ac Pre-Order Program
The Xirrus 802.11ac Pre-Order Program offers customers a technology upgrade path to 802.11ac today when purchasing Xirrus XR Wireless Arrays. The program offers a significant discount when pre-ordering 802.11ac modules ahead of their general availability in 2013. Two and four 802.11ac modular AP packs are available for order from Xirrus, which can be inserted into the XR-2200, XR-4400, XR-7200 Arrays, and XR-6800 Wireless Arrays.

New 802.11ac Upgradable XR-2200 Wireless Array
The XR-2200 joins the Xirrus XR Wireless Array family that delivers unmatched performance and upgradability. The XR-2200 is a four-slot Array and comes populated with two modular APs, either 300Mbps (XR-2220) or 450Mbps (XR-2230) 802.11n radios. Two open slots allow for capacity expansion via additional 802.11n modules or 802.11ac when they become available. The XR-2200 employs the same XR technology as other Xirrus XR Arrays.

Key benefits of the XR product family include:

Complete range of solutions from 2 to 16 modular APs that enables wireless design to match specific capacity requirements

Modular radios enabling capacity upgrades or technology refresh without equipment replacement

Multi-state radios that can be configured to run in either the 2.4GHz or 5GHz spectrums. The new 802.11ac operates only in the 5GHz spectrum, which has 7 times the bandwidth of 2.4GHz.

"Wireless is quickly becoming the dominant force in network access, forcing many businesses to re-evaluate their Wi-Fi networks as demands and technologies evolve," said Shane Buckley, Xirrus CEO. "As the industry's only multi-radio, fully upgradable wireless platform, the new XR-2200, along with the entire XR product family, delivers the investment and performance protection that organizations need today. Forklift upgrades are no longer acceptable. Businesses need to protect their network decisions for five years or more, especially in this economic climate."