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Cisco acquires tools to clean up airwaves

Cisco Systems Inc. has shopped successfully for a set of tools that can help its wireless customers clean up the interference and improve the efficiency of their networks.

Cisco announced today that it has agreed to acquire Cognio Inc., which makes spectrum analysis products designed to identify, locate and eliminate sources of radio-frequency interference that can do to a wireless network the same thing that high-power lines do to reception on an AM radio.

Interference can come from cell phones, non-compliant 802.11 wireless equipment, improper placement of access points, building features that limit the range of radio-frequency broadcasts, microwaves, computer monitors and anything else that produces or absorbs radio waves.

A statement from Cisco this morning said the Cognio technology would be used to enhance the company’s Unified Wireless product category; it will likely appear first in Cisco’s RF Solutions product set.

Terms of the deal were not released; the acquisition will likely be complete during the first quarter of next year. It will be the 122nd acquisition by Cisco, and the first of 2008.

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