Effectively saying they can do the same things that Apprion and Honeywell and Invensys have announced in the past three weeks, Cisco (from their press release) today announced a new mobility solution for the oil and gas industry, the Cisco First Mile Wireless solution. Integrating best-in-class technologies, services, security policies and management applications, the Cisco First Mile Wireless solution supports the extension and augmentation of corporate networked data to be utilized by wellhead workers stationed at desolate oil fields and off-shore ocean oil rigs. In doing so, the Cisco First Mile Wireless solution helps oil and gas companies increase drilling uptime performance, improve in-field decision making processes and reduce operation costs by transforming isolated drilling sites to connected arms of the headquarter corporate network. "Cisco's First Mile Wireless solution does not replace the company man or diminish his importance," explains Massimo Insulla, Drilling and Work Over Deputy General Manager, Petrobel. "What it does is enable the wider team to share some of the burden with him: four eyes are better than two, and eight are better than four. This technology gives us the opportunity to more effectively assist the production team to reach the right decision." Overcoming Challenges for the First Mile Wireless Unlike a traditional enterprise campus, the challenges facing oilfield wireless deployments increase tenfold due to harsh physical environments where there is limited infrastructure, scarce IT resources and an abundance of exposed, densely packed metal structures, which compounds wireless radio frequency (RF) interference. With the Cisco First Mile Wireless solution, oilfields and ocean rig platforms can network SCADA controls, maintenance sensors, mobile service workers, physical security assets, service vehicles and location service tags, as well as integrate mobility services, such as wireless voice over IP, video and guest access. The standard Cisco First Mile Wireless solution is architected and comprised of Cisco 1500 Series wireless mesh access points with specialized blast-proof hardened cases, Cisco WCS for wireless network management, supported by Cisco Secure Services for network security. A combination of pre-tested and validated backhaul technologies, including Wi-Fi bridging, WiMAX and satellite connectivity, and operation technologies and applications complete the transformation of the oilfield from an isolated, hard-to-reach location, to an oasis of information fully connected to remote expertise and analysis. Cisco lifecycle services play an integral roll in the First Mile Wireless solution deployment. Cisco and its Wireless LAN Specialized Partners offer a broad portfolio of end-to-end services based on proven methodologies for planning, designing, implementing, operating and optimizing the performance of the Cisco First Mile Wireless solution and highly secure and scalable wireless infrastructures. "Mobility is about empowering businesses to make better, faster and more informed business decisions," said Ben Gibson, director of mobility solutions, Cisco. "When data is confined it becomes stale, stagnant and loses its inherent value. By contrast, information that is shared creates catalysts for new ideas, methods and ways to improve processes. The Cisco First Mile Solution helps to enable the next wave of business performance and breakthroughs for one of the most challenging business environments, the oil and gas industry." More information about the Cisco First Mile Wireless solution and other Cisco mobility solutions is available at: www.cisco.com/go/mobility. So what does this mean for Rockwell and Cisco's partnership, just recently announced. Does this mean that Rockwell now has a very serious wireless offering that is non-standard and non-interoperable, just like everybody else? Come on, SP100.