Laying the foundation for tomorrow: A New 802.11ac module for Aironet 3600

May 30, 2012 - 5 Comments

You no doubt already know about the coming 802.11ac wireless standard. And, if you’re facing a future bandwidth crunch due to the demands of increased Wi-Fi client density because of BYOD, you’re probably wondering how to prepare for the increased capacity and performance made possible by 802.11ac.  So what can you do now, given that enterprise-class products that support the standard won’t be available until 2013?

The Cisco Aironet 3600 access point can help you bridge the gap between what you need today and what you want for tomorrow. Deploy an Aironet 3600 with 802.11n, and you’ll get a future-proof investment that delivers industry-leading performance now—without sacrificing the ability to add the scale of 802.11ac later.

Take a look under the hood of the 3600 and you’ll see the only 802.11n access point on the market today that supports 802.11n-based  4×4 MIMO with three spatial streams and Cisco’s CleanAir and ClientLink technologies. That means you can get an average of 33% percent better performance right now on mobile devices, and use up to 38% less battery on Wi-Fi clients.

What you’ll also see is a modular slot. This is where the industry’s very first enterprise class 802.11ac solution comes in. Literally. When 802.11ac products are certified in early 2013, you can simply plug a Cisco 802.11ac radio module into the slot and immediately upgrade your access point to leverage the new standard.

This is the second module announced for the Aironet 3600, joining the spectrum monitoring module.  The spectrum module scans all Wi-Fi channels in succession (not just the one the AP uses for traffic), giving outstanding visibility for mission-critical applications, security scanning, and interference troubleshooting.

The bottom line is you can get leading performance today while you future-proof your investment for tomorrow. In other words, there’s no longer a need to compromise. You can act now and lay the groundwork for tomorrow.

Find out more about 802.11ac fundamentals here and look for upcoming webinars about the Aironet 3600 soon.

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  1. Got it.. Thank you for the timely reply.. One last question. Does using the “ac” module then supplant the the Cognio module used for the advanced spectrum functionalities? and will the power requirements change?

  2. Is there an additional switch port built in to the “ac”? If the answer is no, isn’t there the strong possibility of over subscribing the AP its self from a wired perspective essentially negating the gains of moving to ac in the first place?

    • Hi “e” – good question. No there isnt an additional ethernet port on the .11ac module for the AP3600. Couple of aspects – the initial phase of Wave 1 of 802.11ac chip sets and products targets up to 1.3 Gbps at the PHY layer so lets say even at 60% efficiency you’re talking about 780 Mbps shared while the GbE port on the AP3600 is full duplex. Also note that the throughput will vary typically by type of traffic and direction also. We’re very confident that the existing infrastructure will do the trick. In addition the 802.11ac module approach allows the existing infrastructure to be leveraged without requiring a second cable pull and associated infarsturcture and cost that goes with that cable pull. In the future with Phase 2 or Wave 2 of 802.11ac where performance is aiming at 3.5 Gbps at the PHY then you get into some discussions regarding different approaches on the uplink.

      Mark Denny

  3. Hi Steve, great question. Yes Enhanced PoE will be able to bring up the AP3600 with the new 802.11ac module installed. The power requirements will crest slightly over 802.3af with the Module installed. Depending on your available switch ports, we’ll also be able to negotiate with an 802.3at capable PoE port.

    Mark Denny

  4. Great news! Only one question at this point. Presumably the new module will push the PoE requirements beyond the 15W provided by 802.3af. Will the module require 802.3at PoE, or will Cisco Enhanced PoE be enough?