The third webinar in our 802.11ac webinar series was presented by our resident 802.11ac expert, Robert Ferruolo. Robert has over 20 years experience in the wireless industry and has been conducting competitive Wi-Fi performance testing for over 8 years.
The latest webinar in the 802.11ac series was “Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?” Robert touched on some of the following topics during his presentation:
- Throughput and Client density: 802.11n vs. 802.11ac
- 802.11ac use cases by Industry
- Determining if 802.11ac is the right choice
- 802.11ac Performance ROI calculator
Throughout this 6-part series, we’ll continue to break down why 802.11ac should be a serious consideration for your wireless network. The series will address the inevitable migration from 802.11n to 802.11ac.
Throughout our entire AirTight webinar series, we will be posting the webinar recordings as well as the Q & A sessions that coincide with each respective presentation. Stay tuned for more updates on upcoming webinars and their corresponding Q&A sessions. To view the recorded session of the latest 802.11ac presentation, click on the link below:
Q & A Session from “Is 802.11ac Right for Your Network?”
Q: With regards to the AP Estimator that was introduced during this webinar, if I know roughly the client density, but I don’t know the types of clients, for example, the number spatial streams or 802.11ac vs. 802.11n, what do you recommend?
A: If we are talking about an 80 MHz channel plan, with some unknown mix of 802.11ac and 802.11n clients, the recommendation is to play it safe by assuming that the “average” client’s maximum data rate is 300 Mbps, which is what it would be for a 2 spatial stream 802.11n client. For 40 MHz channel plans, the recommendation is to use 150 Mbps as the maximum data rate (for the average client).
Q: We don’t know the SLA, but we do know the applications in use. Can we do an AP estimation based off of applications?
A: If applications have been identified we can look at the most demanding, in terms of throughput, for a given interference region of a network. We would also need to know the peak throughput, per client, that this most demanding application would require. We can use this peak throughput requirement in place of the per client throughput SLA to estimate the number of APs that would require.
Q: Why don’t you recommend factoring in the 2.4 GHz capacity?
A: Of course the recommendation is to provision SSIDs in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands as they are still clients in use that do not support 5 GHz operation. However, the 2.4 GHz band at best offers only a fraction of what 5 GHz/11ac has to offer and at worst the 2.4 GHz band is so cluttered with interference from WiFi and non-WiFi interference that the capacity that it provides is unreliable and/or negligible.
Q: The AP Estimator tool presented today is useful in determining the estimated number of APs needed for a given interference region, for a given set of clients and SLA, etc. but I am also looking information on AP placement best practices.
A: During the next session in this series we will be covering 11ac deployment best practices. One of the topics covered will be AP placement recommendations. It should also be mentioned that AirTight Planner is a tool specifically designed to help with AP placement plans. This tool can factor in your requirements for coverage (e.g., link speed) or capacity (e.g., no. of simultaneous users, traffic load, VoIP calls, etc.). You can find out more about this application at the following link.
Q: The use cases that were presented during this webinar worked out AP estimations with the assumption that the channels to be used were free of interference but in reality it is likely that some, or all of the channels in use may have some level of interference present.
A: Very good point! The first version of the AP Estimator that was presented in today’s session does not factor in external sources of interference. In the upcoming “11ac Channel Capacity Planning” session of this webinar series an updated version of the AP Estimator will be used. The latest AP Estimator will be able to consider external sources of interference and other factors that could impact channel capacity.
802.11ac Deployment Best Practices (August 19th @ 8am & 6pm PST)
Social Wi-Fi and Analytics: Deeper Dive (August 26th @ 8am PST)