Cisco Systems yesterday moved to open its Aironet wireless local area network (Lan) products to manufacturers of third-party client adaptors and mobile devices.
In a bid to promote interoperability, the licensing agreement - dubbed Cisco Compatible Extensions - will allow third-party silicon manufacturers of embedded and stand-alone wireless hardware to license code from Cisco's Aironet wireless Lan infrastructure products at no cost.
Cisco said the programme is aimed at wireless industry giants such as Agere Systems, Atheros, Atmel, Intel, Intersil, Marvell and Texas Instruments.
Third parties can submit their products for independent interoperability testing with Cisco's own offerings.
Once tested, the adaptor or device can carry a 'Cisco Compatible' brand to show that it provides support for the full set of Cisco Compatible Extension features.
Cisco Compatible Extensions Version 1 will include:
- Full standards compliance with Wi-Fi and IEEE 802.11
- Compliance with Cisco Wireless Security Suite
- Compatibility with Cisco's scheme for assigning wireless Lan clients to virtual Lans
"Today we are taking a giant step towards making the Cisco vision of the wireless internet real by combining our inherent strengths in wireless product technology and enterprise networking with the affordability and ubiquity of mobile devices available from our industry-leading partners," said Bill Rossi, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Wireless Networking Business Unit.
"The result is a wide range of wireless solutions that go a long way to addressing our customers' mobile business application requirements today, and a clear roadmap for the future," he added.
In a statement Cisco said: "With Cisco Compatible Extensions, customers can deploy their wireless Lans with a variety of 'Cisco Compatible' branded client adaptors and mobile devices with increased confidence."
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