HPE looks to go beyond standards requirements with Wi-Fi 7 access points

Looking to deliver reliable, secure, high-performance connectivity to meet customers’ business objectives, ranging from immersive fan experiences to automated manufacturing processes, and specifically improving enterprise security, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has launched Wi-Fi 7 access points (APs) that it said can provide up to 30% more capacity for wireless traffic than competitive products.

HPE believes that the new APs strengthen network security and improve location-based services to provide connectivity for the most demanding enterprise artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), location and security applications.  

Managed by HPE Aruba Networking Central, the APs are also attributed with eliminating the need to deploy an IoT network overlay by providing built-in hardware support for a wide range of IoT protocols such as Zigbee and Bluetooth, or through dual USB interfaces. The net result is said to be a secure connectivity platform for IoT devices deployed at the network edge and enable businesses to use IoT data to drive intelligent decisions.

The HPE Aruba Networking 730 Series Campus APs are designed to provide a secure connectivity platform for the increase in IoT devices organisations are deploying at the network edge, such as cameras, motor sensors, energy sensors and motion detectors. Noting integrations from more than 350 technology partners, HPE says organisations can now efficiently capture, secure, transport and take advantage of IoT-sourced data to deliver real-time business insights.

Additionally, the data is regarded as capable of being used to train and activate AI models for solutions such as predictive maintenance, digital twins and personalised customer user experiences.

Commenting on the launch, Chris DePuy, principal analyst at research firm 650 Group, said: “Optimised connectivity is now mission critical and customers always want to make smart investments in their wireless infrastructure, considering the need to future-proof the network and provide desired business outcomes.

“With the huge growth in IoT devices, demand for ubiquitous security, and the need for backward compatibility to accommodate legacy devices, Wi-Fi 7 provides the processing power, flexibility, speed, reliability and capacity that today’s enterprises are looking for when making network upgrade decisions.”

Stuart Strickland, wireless chief technology officer at HPE Aruba Networking, added: “With more than two decades of Wi-Fi innovation leadership, HPE Aruba Networking continues our commitment to delivering customers the reliable, secure, high-performance connectivity they need to meet their business objectives, which can range from immersive fan experiences to automated manufacturing processes. 

“Our Wi-Fi 7 APs go far beyond improvements in performance and efficiency to become an intelligent IoT hub, securing the network, distributing the workload, characterising the environment, and providing a foundation for business and operational analytics.”

In terms of technical features, UTB filtering is designed to remove channel interference on adjacent channels in 5GHz and 6GHz bands, maximising performance and capacity, giving businesses the flexibility to use both bands simultaneously. Policy-based access control and Layer 7 application firewalls build upon a foundation of security-first wireless features such as HPE Aruba Networking Central Client Insights for improved IoT visibility and automated Dynamic Segmentation to deliver role-based access for users and IoT devices.

HPE Aruba Networking Central’s IoT Operations dashboard streamlines device onboarding and eliminates high-overhead vendor-specific IoT overlay networks, allowing APs to act as a connector and local processing element for IoT devices to communicate directly with third-party IoT services.

The HPE Aruba Networking 730 Series APs are said to feature twice as much SDRAM and flash memory than previous HPE models, enabling application-specific containers to run on the APs themselves, resulting in streamlined data transmissions and local processing of data for more rapid response to real-time conditions such as temperature or motion.

The HPE Aruba Networking 730 Series Access Points will be generally available globally in July 2024, and includes a limited lifetime warranty.

Management of the HPE Aruba Networking 730 Series Campus APs is via HPE Aruba Networking Central, available as a subscription. In addition to being a standalone SaaS offering, HPE Aruba Networking Central is also included as part of an HPE GreenLake (NaaS) subscription and is available through the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform.

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