The Cisco® 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller is a network appliance that automatically optimizes the basic wireless network and supports advanced mobility services on top of that network. The Cisco Mobility Express solution brings together the Cisco 526 controller and the Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Point as a flexible, cost-effective wireless solution specifically designed to meet the needs of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
As your business needs grow, the Cisco Mobility Express solution (Figure 1) offers the versatility to evolve and scale from a solid mobile foundation delivering business-grade wireless features to a sophisticated yet cost-effective wireless network capable of supporting leading mobility services and applications. Mobility Express is part of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System - a complete unified communications solution for SMBs that provides voice, data, video, security, and wireless capabilities while integrating with existing desktop applications like calendar, e-mail, and customer relationship management (CRM).
Figure 1. Cisco Mobility Express Solution Elements
Cisco Mobility Express solution elements include the Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller (left), Cisco Configuration Assistant software (center), and Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Point (right).
Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller
The Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller harnesses the power of Cisco Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP) technology, best-in-class automatic radio optimization, mobility performance, and multi-access-point management. On top of the basic transport layer, the controller supports Cisco Secure Guest Access and Voice-over-WLAN advanced mobility services. As part of the Smart Business Communications System, this controller is managed by the Cisco Configuration Assistant, easing deployment and decreasing the cost of ongoing maintenance. A single Cisco 526 controller supports up to six Cisco 521 access points and up to two controllers can be deployed per network, delivering the capacity, simplicity, and price point appropriate for the SMB.
Figure 2. Easy Configuration of Secure Guest Access
Features and Benefits
Table 1. Features and Benefits of the Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller
Secure network access for guest users
With Secure Guest Access, organizations can easily create and manage a virtual guest network with a Web login portal page for users such as customers, vendors, and contractors. Visitors can have Internet access while safely partitioned from the sensitive corporate LAN.
Support for Cisco voice-over-WLAN optimization
Voice-over-WLAN optimization is a package of features that deliver quality of service, call admission control, and fast, secure inter-access-point handoff to improve the quality of a wireless voice infrastructure.
Easy management tool
Includes Cisco Configuration Assistant, GUI-based management software that automatically discovers and dynamically configures Cisco 521 access points in order to simplify and accelerate wireless network setup.
Support for Cisco Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP)
Uses Cisco LWAPP for communication between Cisco 521 access points and 526 controllers to simplify deployment and management, and to automate functions required for a pervasive WLAN end-user experience.
Support for up to 6 access points per controller and up to 2 controllers per network for a total of 12 access points
The wireless network easily expands as business requirements for additional wireless coverage and mobility services increase.
Multi-access-point Radio Resource Management (RRM)
RRM automatically optimizes radio coverage and capacity while working around potential points of interference. This real-time radio coordination simplifies deploying multiple access points.
Secure authentication mechanism support
Support for a wide range of authentication mechanisms to enable scalable security architectures and minimize security interoperability issues (WEP, MAC Filtering, WPA, WPA2, WebAuth, 802.1X, and EAP).
Wired/wireless network virtualization
Supports the use of up to 8 SSID/VLANs so that one physical WLAN infrastructure can be safely shared by different users, applications, or organizations as virtual wired/wireless networks.
Wireless component of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System
Part of a portfolio of switching, routing, security, wireless, and voice products designed to work both individually and together as a system to maximize the value of each product in the network.
Architectural Feature Comparison
With Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Points, the Cisco Mobility Express solution is an ideal fit for the SMB environment. Table 2 highlights the main architectural feature differences between consumer-grade, business-grade, and enterprise-grade WLAN solutions.
Table 2. WLAN Architectural Feature Comparison
Consumer-Grade Access Points
Cisco 500 Wireless Express Access Point (Standalone Mode)
Cisco 500 Wireless Express Access Point (Controller Mode)
Cisco Enterprise Unified WLAN Architecture
Part of the Cisco Smart Business Communications System
Simplifies multi-access-point networks
Cisco Configuration Assistant management tool1
Support for Cisco Lightweight Access Point Protocol (LWAPP)2
Multi-access-point Radio Resource Management (RRM)
Support for a range of secure authentication mechanisms
Command-line interface for troubleshooting (SHO/DEBUG only) using Telnet, SSH, or console port access
Message logs for critical failures, software errors, unexpected software events, and significant system events
None/Open, WEP/Open, MAC Filtering, WPA/Open with EAP, WPA/Network EAP, WPA-PSK/Open with EAP, WPA-PSK/Network EAP, WPA-TKIP, WPA2/AES CCMP
Web-Auth with Open, WPA-PSK, WPA2-PSK, WEP
Supported EAP types include PEAP, LEAP, EAP-FAST, EAP-TLS, EAP-GTC, and EAP-SIM
IEEE 802.1X RADIUS authentication; external RADIUS server required
Multiple Service Set Identifiers (SSIDs)
8 SSIDs supported (each access point may support multiple SSIDs)
1 SSID broadcast in SSID beacon
Support for Cisco Secure Guest Access
Allows for creation of guest SSID/VLAN through Cisco Configuration Assistant, and creation of guest user accounts and configuration of Web login page using Cisco Configuration Assistant
Support for voice-over- WLAN optimization
Delivers quality of service, call admission control, fast inter-access-point handoff, and other optimization features to improve the quality of a wireless voice infrastructure
Physical and Environmental
• Dimensions: 2.7-in. H x 10.6-in. W x 7.0-in. D (6.9 x 27 x 17.8 cm)
• Weight: 4.8 lbs (2.8 kg)
• Operating: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
• Storage: -13 to 158°F (-25 to 70°C)
• Operating humidity: 10 to 90%, noncondensing
• Storage humidity: Up to 95%
• Power adapter:
Input power: 100 to 240 VAC; 50/60 Hz
• Heat dissipation: 75 BTU per hour maximum
• UL 60950-1
• CAN CSA C22.2 No. 60950-1
• IEC 60950-1
• EN 60950-1
• EN 60950:2000
• EMI and susceptibility (Class B):
• U.S.: FCC Part 15.107 and 15.109
• Canada: ICES-003
• Japan: VCCI
• Europe: EN 55022, EN 55024
Physical and Environmental
· Dimensions: 2.7-in. H x 10.6-in. W x 7.0-in. D (6.9 x 27 x 17.8 cm)
· Weight: 4.8 lbs (2.8 kg)
Operating: 32 to 104°F (0 to 40°C)
Storage: -13 to 158°F (-25 to 70°C)
Operating humidity: 10 to 90%, noncondensing
Storage humidity: Up to 95%
· Power adapter: Input power: 100 to 240 VAC; 50/60 Hz
· Heat dissipation: 75 BTU per hour maximum
Table 4 provides ordering information for the Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller and the Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Point. To find a reseller near you, visit:
Table 4. Ordering Information for Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller and Wireless Express Access Points
Cisco 526 Wireless Express Mobility Controller for up to six Cisco 500 Series Wireless Express Access Points
Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Point (standalone)
Cisco 521 Wireless Express Access Point (Controller mode)
Service and Support
Cisco offers a wide range of services programs to accelerate customer success. Cisco SMARTnet
® Service for SBCS provides direct access anytime to Cisco network experts and award-winning resources to help rapidly resolve problems and protect customer investment. Cisco SMARTnet Service for the Smart Business Communications System (SBCS) delivers rapid issue resolution and complete, solutions-level technical support for the SBCS. Cisco services help you protect your network investment, optimize network operations, and prepare your network for new applications to extend network intelligence and the power of your business. For more information about Cisco SMARTnet services, visit:
For More Information
For more information about Cisco wireless LAN controllers or the Cisco Mobility Express Solution, contact your local account representative or visit: