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Aerohive unveils first 802.11ac Wi-Fi products

03 Oct 2013
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In unveiling the first access points capable of supporting 802.11ac, Aerohive can now provide speeds up to 1.3Gbps.

Designed to simplify migration to 802.11ac, which uses the 5GHz spectrum band, the new access points on show go by the names of AP370 and AP390.

"The new products are our first 802.11ac APs, which will drive dense deployments and make them significantly better," Matthew Gast, director of product development, Aerohive, told Wireless Mag.

"We’ve worked hard to integrate the new standard into the rest of our systems, so customers can mix Wi-Fi standards and migrate to 802.11ac at a rate that suits them.

"Not everybody requires the high level of density that 802.11ac provides throughout their network.

"We describe it as ‘salt and pepper’ – customers will use 802.11n products everywhere and sprinkle 802.11ac APs where they are needed in high density hotspots."

Advantages

Utilising a distributed network architecture without the need for a controller or overlay network, Gast believes this to be a major advantage of Aerohive's solution - thus removing customer worry regarding compatibility between different controllers.

"The advantage of a distributed system is that the CPU in the AP can be designed to meet the needs of the product," Gast told Wireless Mag.

"We use more powerful CPUs to handle the increased computing power needed to handle the increased amount of packets being transmitted by 802.11ac networks.

"If you use a controller based network you are continually trying to find the right balance.

"Either you invest in too much controller capacity for the needs of your network and so you are overpaying for some of the features; or you have too many APs for the controller to handle and have to upgrade.

"So, you are constantly fine tuning the network.

“But with Aerohive you can just add more APs as you need them. You can just plug them in and replace the old ones, like changing a light bulb, and gradually migrate to 802.11ac as demand determines.

"And because the intelligence is in the APs rather than the controller, you are adding capacity and processing power in the same ratio as you expand the network, so it remains in balance.

"This is the market context of what we were doing as we were designing the products."

AP370 and AP390 – key facts

Dual-radio 802.11ac/n high-performance, reliable 3x3 three spatial stream MIMO access points.

• Wireless capability up to 1.35Gbps aggregate data rates

• Radio 1 (802.11n) 2.4GHz 802.11b/g/n: 3x3:3 (450 Mbps)

• Radio 2 (802.11ac) 5GHz 802.11a/n/ac: 3x3:3 (1300 Mbps)

• 256-QAM, supports up to 80MHz channel for 5GHz

Connectivity options

• 2x autosensing 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports – link aggregation, failover (redundancy)

• USB support for 3G/4G

Power optimisation

• PoE 802.3at for maximum performance

• Performance optimised on legacy 802.3af (equivalent to 802.11n)

• Auto-detecting power to simplify migration from 802.3af to 802.3at