Ask any network administrator and you’ll hear the same plea: “I simply need my wireless network to work smarter!”

One of the key trends we’ve been seeing is more and more 5GHz clients joining the network. This is driven by the higher data rates, wider channels, and more free channel bandwidth which 802.11ac provides. It’s not just happening in one field either, this trend has spread across vertical such as: higher education, enterprise, hospitality, and retail. It is most noticeable at large trade shows such as Mobile World Congress (87% 5GHz clients), and Cisco Live (90% 5GHz clients), in which we do the show network. We are also seeing majority of the clients at these shows supporting 802.11ac (greater than 65%).

Other Wi-Fi vendors seem to be ignoring this trend. As they roll their new 802.11ac wave 2 access points, more and more seem to be fixed on a 2007 technology in the 2.4GHz band, 802.11n. One Access Point with two radios, one 2.4GHz 802.11n, one 5GHz, means 50% of your radios are operating in 2.4GHz mode. This is the perfect design for a network with 50% 2.4GHz clients—and that is a design of the past.

You know what else was cutting edge in 2007? MySpace. When was the last time you logged into your MySpace account to see what Tom was up to?

The new Cisco Aironet 2800 and 3800 Access Points brings intelligence and flexibility into your network via Flexible Radio Assignment (FRA). FRA gives your access point the flexibility to dynamically change between 2.4GHz and 5GHz depending on your client load. As more clients join your network, you can add additional capacity by providing more 5GHz coverage. As the client count falls, the flexible radio will dynamic adjust to provide the best coverage.

The best part is that this is all done automatically; you won’t have to do a thing.

FRA is the type of forward-thinking innovation that differentiates Cisco from the rest of the Wireless companies stuck in 2007. To learn more about FRA, click on the Cisco Aironet 2800 or 3800 pages.


Brian Levin

Product Manager, Engineering

Platform WLAN - US