Aruba Networks announced a Wi-Fi controller today that can create more efficient pathways for wireless traffic and control more than 32,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.
Aruba said the new 7200 Mobility Controller will be use far less power and cost much less than competing technology from Cisco, the market leader.
Aruba's announcement of the controller, made on the first day of Mobile World Congress, is part of a trend of new software and hardware that equipment makers are offering to service providers and large enterprises to make large Wi-Fi networks and Wi-Fi hotspots more efficient, partly by reducing the wireless demand on cellular networks.
The 7200 will start at $37,995. Two rack unit 7200s (with one for redundancy) will serve about the same number of access points as seven Cisco 8500 controllers, but cost 40 times less, Manav Khurana, senior director of product marketing at Aruba, said in an interview.
The controller relies on new software called HybridControl Wi-Fi, which incorporates management capabilities for devices used by workers and guests inside organizations.
Last week, Cisco unveiled Quantum software and hardware to help carriers and enterprises improve wireless connections that are hybrid networks of 3G and 4G cellular and Wi-Fi. The devices will be demonstrated at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.