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Best Practices for Wi-Fi 6E Migration


Wi-Fi design is always a challenge. For offices and hotels it is generally fairly straightforward but for medical facilities and convention centres there are unique problems. Adding to the challenge of providing the best signal possible additional challenges existing in the form of device density and demand for throughput.

Network operators are always improving the connectivity: fixing coverage holes, increasing speeds or identifying opportunities for expansion. Of course, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E is bigger, better and faster. But some have questions about strategies for implementing 6E and want to be sure that they can have continuity of service as they migrate when the devices begin to appear. It’s important to choose the solution that will work best at the lowest total cost over the long term.

High Density Applications

We experience with Xirrus equipment and Xirrus is now a part of Cambium Networks. If the application is for high user density applications like auditoriums, meeting places and gathering areas the Wi-Fi will need to support many devices without straining. That way, all users have a positive experience.

Software Defined Radios

Cambium Networks are leaders in software definable radios. Other vendors have a few features on one or two of their APs, but nobody does it like Cambium Networks. 

Smooth Migration to Wi-Fi 6E

This is where Wi-Fi 6E (which supports new 6 GHz Wi-Fi band) and the XE-series (XE3-4 and XE5-8) access points lead the pack. These access points are equipped with three and five radios respectively. When you open the box and pull them out, you can use all the radios today – even if there are no Wi-Fi 6E devices anywhere near it. The AP is smart enough to use the standard 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands for traffic to start. The additional radios are software-defined to run either 5 GHz or 6 GHz depending on your situation. You can begin running it at 5 GHz and selectively move APs to 6 GHz when you are ready. The APs sense the presence of Wi-Fi 6E devices. The XE5-8 access point offers much higher capacity which is one-of-a-kind AP for high density situations.

This gives the network operator a whole lot of power and capability to be able to have a full use of all three radios, the entire duration of the life cycle of this access point. You have the flexibility so that when you start to see those 6 GHz clients you can choose to accommodate them with 6 GHz frequency. It’s as easy as literally flipping a switch in the XMS-Cloud or cnMaestro™ cloud management system, which will change the behaviour of the Wi-Fi 6 access points on demand. No ladders, no replacement, no dust – no problem.

For more information on Wi-Fi 6E, check out this Tolly on Technology podcast where Kevin Tolly, Founder of the Tolly Group and Bruce Miller, Vice President Enterprise Marketing discuss the technology and migration path.

There’s no better way to migrate to Wi-Fi 6E than with the XE access points and cnMaestro cloud management or XMS-Cloud from Cambium Networks. Contact us if you need a design done at a new or existing site.

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