With the inevitable explosion of more wireless devices and Wi-Fi hungry apps, does your current wireless network have the ability to handle multi-gigabit speeds?

If it doesn’t, there’s no need to worry, one of the key innovations of 802.11ac wave 2 allows for greater over-the-air throughput by providing wider channels. The channels will grow to 160MHz and allow users to more than double their throughput.

A simple way to think of this if your current 20MHz channel is a two-lane road, the new 160MHz channel would be a 16-lane super highway.

With the June 2nd 2016 publishing of the FCC 14-30 Order, the FCC now allows the use of three additional channels (120, 124, and 128). This order allows you to configure your wireless network as either:

• 2 x 160MHz channels
• 6 x 80MHz channels
• 12 x 40MHz channels
• 25 x 20MHz channels


Other Wi-Fi vendors have not worked as closely with the FCC as Cisco and have not followed the FCC 14-30 order. The have chosen to vacate the entire UNII-2 band instead by completely dropping DFS channel support. This has a huge impact on the network because a majority of client support DFS channels. This means that they are cutting the number of 5GHz channels by almost 70%, resulting in less overall client capacity, due to non-compliance with the FCC 14-30 order.



By removing UNII-2 channels, other vendors can only use:
• 0 x 160MHz channels
• 2 x 80MHz channels
• 4 x 40MHz channels
• 9 x 20MHz channels

This is equivalent to buying a brand new McLaren F1 and driving it on a dirt road.

If you have the Cisco Aironet 2800 and 3800 Access Points , what does this mean for your wireless network?

Cisco paves over that dirt road and provides the asphalt for your McLaren. Two 160MHz channels, in combination with the 2016 Best of Interop Award-Winning Flexible Radio Assignment, provides you with up to 5.2Gbps over-the-air. This is three to four times the wireless speeds of any other access point on the market, with three times the number of channels supported. That means you won’t have to worry about the amount of devices brought into your office, nor the applications that are being run.

Flexible Radio Assignment give your access points the ability to optimize your wireless network for capacity and coverage by allowing for dual 5GHz radios, configured with 160MHz channels, while other Wi-Fi vendors are still choking on a cloud of dust.

To learn more about Flexible Radio Assignment, click on the Cisco Aironet 2800 or 3800 pages.


Brian Levin

Product Manager, Engineering

Platform WLAN - US