Cisco Revs Up Networking Efforts

SAN JOSE, Calif. ( TheStreet) - Just a week after launching its CRS-3 router in a blaze of publicity, Cisco ( CSCO) has again refocused its efforts on its core networking technology.

The tech bellwether has extended its reach beyond networking in recent years, expanding into new areas such as servers and even video, but launched a slew of new switches, routers and services before market open on Wednesday.

Cisco, which competes with Juniper ( JNPR) and Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) in networking, is touting the new hardware and services as part of its 'borderless networks' strategy. Announced in October, the initiative aims to build a secure communications infrastructure for mobile workers.

The company's latest products include the Catalyst 3750-X, 3560-X and 2960-S switches, a new software release for its ASR 1000 Series routers, as well as the latest version of the Integrated Services Router (ISR). Cisco unveiled the ISR G2 3900 E-Series before market open, touting triple the performance of earlier versions of the technology.

Cisco also has unveiled a set of services aimed at customers looking to build enterprise networks. These include offerings tailored towards energy management and customers using large volumes of rich media such as video.

Long synonymous with networking technology, Cisco sent shockwaves through the tech sector last year when it unveiled its UCS, a blade-based server technology supported by Microsoft ( MSFT), VMware ( VMW) and EMC ( EMC).

UCS took Cisco into a new direction and the tech bellwether now challenges IBM ( IBM) and its long-standing partner, H-P. By combining networking, server, storage, and virtualization capabilities, Cisco has been touting UCS as sort of datacenter "god box", capable of consolidating customers' IT infrastructure. Unsurprisingly, the device has already caused a schism in the firm's relationship with H-P.

Last week Cisco launched its new CRS-3 router, which it claims will pave the way to faster Internet speeds. Broadband is certainly big news at the moment. Search giant Google ( GOOG) recently unveiled its own plans to build an ultra high-speed network and Washington unveiled its ambitious national broadband plan earlier this week.

In a document released on Tuesday, the FCC outlined its strategy to turn the U.S. from an Internet laggard into a broadband leader. This includes freeing up 500 MHz of the wireless spectrum, ensuring that 100 million U.S. homes have access to 100 Megabit per second Internet speeds, and a $6.5 billion funding program to build a new wireless public safety network.

Cisco, like Juniper and gearmakers such as Corning ( GLW), ADCT ( ADCT), Adtran ( ADTN) could be set for a revenue boost as America overhauls its broadband infrastructure.

Cisco shares rose 6 cents, or 0.23%, to $26.21 in pre-market trading on Wednesday.

-- Reported by James Rogers in New York

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