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Introducing Wi-Fi 7 access points that deliver more

By Larry Lunetta, VP, HPE Aruba Networking, Portfolio and Communities Marketing

Achieve enhanced secure connectivity, maximized performance, increased IoT and location capabilities, and even more data processing at the edge with the new 700 Series Wi-Fi 7 access points.

We’ve always viewed Wi-Fi more broadly than just a way to wirelessly connect users to the IT infrastructure. Sure, we do that terrifically well, as 18 consecutive times as a leader in the Gartner Wired and Wireless Magic Quadrant attest, but even as early as the first Wi-Fi product back in the early 2000’s, we defined our mission as secure connectivity and introduced the industry’s first (and to this day the only) Layer 7 application firewall to run on an access point.

This idea that the access point (AP) can do more than just route traffic is a core part of our product philosophy, and we’ve consistently expanded on that over multiple Wi-Fi generations with the addition of location services, IoT protocol support, and extensive network telemetry for security and AIOps. As organizations continue to innovate and leverage applications that require more bandwidth or more IoT devices to support new digital use cases, the AP must continue to do more. Delivering solutions that go beyond standards is part of HPE Aruba Networking’s history and future.

Now, with the introduction of 700 series access points that support Wi-Fi 7, we are doubling IoT capabilities with dual BLE 5.4 or 802.15.4/Zigbee radios and dual USB interfaces and improving location precision for use cases such as asset tracking and real-time inventory tracking. Moreover, we are using both the resources and the management of the AP to its full potential by delivering ubiquitous high-performance connectivity and processing at the edge. What this means is that these access points not only have optimal support for the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz spectrum (fully mix and match configurable for backward compatibility) but also enough memory and compute capacity to run containers. This general-purpose processing capability means that organizations now have another edge resource to not just capture and route data from sources such as IoT and OT but can begin to process that data locally to determine its ultimate destination—or even to make a decision and take an action.

This means that the motivation for moving to the 700 series access points goes beyond future proofing as the device market catches up. Our flexible support for all the relevant Wi-Fi bands means that they will immediately increase wireless connectivity and performance. The rich IoT protocol support (Wi-Fi, Zigbee, Bluetooth, and proprietary protocols) means the elimination of overlay IoT hardware networks. The ability to see and process IoT data at the point of capture in real time means that AI workflows that rely on this data for training and inference are now fully integrated. And while inferencing on an AP is not yet here, Google has introduced AI that runs on Android phones, so the resources required for running AI continue to shrink. Furthermore, we are including additional encryption security features by extending wired protection to the wireless edge.

Why are we so excited about the breakthroughs of the 700 series? Innovations abound:

  • Wi-Fi 7 device support not required: Yes, Wi-Fi 7 device support will take a while to gain momentum. But support for 6 GHz is already mainstream. If you are doing a wireless refresh, the 700 Series will greatly improve performance and capacity for current devices, especially if you are upgrading from a 300 or 500 Series AP. Patented Ultra Tri-band (UTB) filtering eliminates interference on adjacent channels in 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands. Seamless transition between 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz radios means that all users and devices benefit. When Wi-Fi 7 devices catch up, you’ll be all set to leverage the larger channels for even more performance.
  • End-to-end security: New link level encryption (MACsec) capabilities extend wired data protection to the AP. This enhanced wireless security joins existing security-first wireless capabilities that include:
    • HPE Aruba Networking Central Client Insights for improved IoT visibility and policy-based access control
    • Layer 7 application firewalls
    • Strong encryption and authentication with WPA3 and Enhanced Open
    • Automated Dynamic Segmentation to provide role-based access for users and IoT devices
    • Personal Wireless Network mode that provides secure self-service onboarding of user devices in group environments such as college campuses
  • Comprehensive IoT device and application management: HPE Aruba Networking Central’s IoT Operations dashboard streamlines device onboarding, monitoring, troubleshooting and security policy enforcement. This allows APs to act as a connector for IoT devices to communicate with third-party IoT services and applications that are registered in the Central App Store.
  • Stop installing IoT overlay networks. They are messy, hard to manage and expensive. With the 700 Series APs, organizations can support new digital use cases that leverage IoT using dual dedicated Bluetooth 6 and Zigbee radios and dual USB ports that provide integrated connectivity for a broad range of IoT devices that have proprietary protocols.
  • AP as a data processing service: The HPE Aruba Networking 700 Series APs feature twice as much SDRAM and flash memory than previous HPE models, enabling application-specific containers to run natively on the APs, resulting in streamlined data transmissions and local processing of data for more rapid response to real-time conditions such as temperature or motion.
  • Precision Wi-Fi location services: Improved location-aware services for real-time, immersive, and industrial-strength use cases with location precision within one meter based on the new standard for fine time measurement. This accuracy is achieved with a Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) receiver and a barometric sensor for floor-level mapping, which incorporate Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5.4 for bi-directional IoT location data that can enhance user engagement and track valuable assets to reduce loss.
  • Continued sustainability progress: An AI-powered, dynamic power save mode helps lower energy footprint and costs for enterprises.

See immediate value with 700 series access points. Eliminate IoT network overlays, improve performance and user experiences for existing 2.4, 5 and 6 GHz devices, capture, secure, and transport data to train and activate AI solutions. Then, as devices upgrade to Wi-Fi 7, the future is yours.

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