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Cisco Systems on Monday introduced a new card that adds support for the 802.11b and 802.11g wireless LAN standards to its 3200 Series routers.

“This solution set is around creating a solution for the outdoor wireless broadband for the public sector,” said Ann Sun, senior manager for wireless and mobility at Cisco in San Jose, Calif.

The router now can support both WLAN and WAN connections, Sun said. This means that when used in public safety vehicles, devices attached to the router will be able to maintain wireless network connections even when the vehicle is moving between cellular and Wi-Fi coverage areas.

The router also can sit still, on top of rooftops or towers, to provide long-range outdoor Wi-Fi coverage, Sun said. She added that the router may be upgraded to support the nascent WiMax wireless broadband standard in the future, but not until it’s clear that the industry will adopt it.

WiMax is gaining credibility thanks to Intel and Proxim. Click here to read the full story.

Cook County, Ill., and London’s Westminster City Council are using the router in conjunction with wireless bridges from Cisco for various public safety applications such as video surveillance, Sun said.

The Cisco 3200 Series Wireless and Mobile Router with the WLAN interface card is available immediately. Pricing starts at $3,650. WLAN outdoor bridges range in price from $1,299 to $1,499.

Adding WLAN capabilities to existing products is a recent trend at Cisco. Last month the company introduced the Wireless LAN Services Module, a blade that adds Layer 3 WLAN roaming capabilities to the company’s high-end Catalyst 6500 line of switches.

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