This is pretty big. Wait others have been doing this for some time!
Ok, except the problem with having a ton of AP’s is management, the bigger problem having tons of AP’s at remote locations – is also management.
Stop me if you have heard it before – simple management – plug it in and you are off to the races, templated configuration. All of what is great about Meraki starts to make a lot of sense when you think about having 100+ little AP’s all over the place.
Why would you want this? I can give you a very good reason why the new Meraki MR30H is a great product.
It stands with their ideal use case – In-Room Hotel / Dormitory use.
The Science – 5GHZ
Let’s talk science for a second… We have all been using 802.11B/G/N for some time on the 2.4GHZ band, that is an ISM band, ISM stands for industrial, scientific, and medical – basically anyone can build stuff on 2.4, and run it – oh and don’t forget your microwave which will wipe out half the band each time you turn it on. The bottom line is 2.4ghz is dead for most people, the band is so noisy, nobody is really designing networks for it anymore.
So now we move to 5GHZ, 802.11a/n/ac – but wait – most people do not seem to realize the coverage for 5GHZ at the same power as 2.4ghz is not the same. In 2002 Magis Networks a semi conductor company did testing on various materials for loss metrics on 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ frequencies.
I’m going to try and explain this – hit me in the comments if I made a math error – but thanks to my good friend and colleague Jason Miles @photomediaguy for helping me check my thought process on this (If you need some amazing photo work, check out his website www.jasonmilesphotography.com)
Concrete is the enemy!
Dry concrete block has about 6.7DB of loss on 2.4ghz, while 5GHZ is has 10.3DB of loss – now that is 3.6DB of loss MORE – but before you think “Well that’s not much” – DB is logarithmic.
A loss of 6.7DB is about 70% signal LOSS and 10.3DB is about 90% Signal Loss.
If I had an access point right on the other side of concrete, and it was running 50mw – if I was on 2.4GHZ, I would get about 10.7mw on the other side, or barely enough to even operate. on 5.0GHZ – I’m looking at 4.6mw – or useless.
I think I am making my point – 5.0ghz is significantly more lossy through the same material than 2.4ghz, and while 2.4ghz was really difficult through concrete – 5.0ghz is pointless.
Even drywall is 37% more lossy on 5GHZ – through a typical office wall you are looking at 1DB per wall.
Modern WiFi Design – Comment
In Modern WiFi design, we actually design more for performance and density and less about coverage, it is more about low power AP’s, and many of them in order to deliver high-density high performance. The days of running 100MW on AP’s to give us wide coverage with a single AP are long gone. We worry about battery life, and co-channel interference – we don’t want to run high power. So as we build this new world of many low powered APs in more places.
MR30H – Details
So we have talked about Wifi Design, a little about 5GHZ and Loss – now we can talk about the MR30H. This is a pretty good retro fit solution for many clients especially hospitality, education, utility and government where installs are a problem and if could simply replace an existing jack, with an AP, we could easily provide spot wifi, and maintain 802.3af power to hang a phone off it with ease of install and no ladder.
- 3 Radios – 2.4, 5GHZ and WIPS
- Bluetooth BLE
- 802.3AF Compatible – but 802.3at means you get 802.3AF Power Output
- 2×2 MU-MIMO with 2 Spatial Streams
- 867Mbit maximum Phy rate on 5GHZ AC
All of the normal Meraki benefits apply.
- RF Optimization
- RF Spectrum analysis
- Full reporting
- Enterprise security 802.1X