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Have mobile device, will connect: Setting the industry benchmark in WLAN performance

By Rich Horsley, Wireless Product Manager, Americas

10-17-2011 10-13-11 PM.jpgAbout a month ago I checked into a hotel with my family on vacation.  The four of us arrived with two laptop computers, two tablets and an iPod Touch.  All Wi-Fi capable devices. The hotel was built a few years ago and had installed Wi-Fi during construction. Since then, we all know there’s been an explosion in the proliferation of Wi-Fi devices. 


Until recently, hotel guests arrived with a single Wi-Fi capable device… usually a laptop.  Now my family arrives with no less than five devices.  (And I’m sure we’re not alone here.) So how does a hotel handle that type of density?  This resort had come up with an interesting solution:  First Wi-Fi device connected for free. All other devices could connect too—for $10 each. The hotel’s solution was to discourage people from using the WLAN.  This, in turn, discourages guests from returning.
As hotels, schools, hospitals and others migrate from a “best effort” coverage model to a “density” coverage model, they need technology capable of handling the increased density.  And if I can attach more clients to a single access point, then my investment dollar goes further. 


10-17-2011 10-37-09 PM.jpg


That’s why it was so exciting for me to learn that the HP MSM460 Access Point had been awarded the CRN 2011 Tech Innovator Award in the wireless category.  CRN recognized that the MSM460 brought new technology to the WLAN market, allowing for increased throughput (speed) and capacity. Check out this white paper to learn more about the award-winning MSM460.

The MSM460—easier WLAN access, more performance once you connect 


The MSM460 is a dual radio, 802.11n access point.  It is the first enterprise-class access point on the market that offers a 3rd spatial stream. This is akin to adding a third lane to a two-lane highway, as well as increasing the speed limit by 50%.  The additional spatial stream allows the MSM460 to deliver up to 450Mbps.  You can use the MSM460 to refresh your aging 802.11g networks and upgrade the performance of your 802.11n networks.

As the WLAN landscape changes, and more devices are brought on to the WLAN, it becomes more important that access points have the ability to provide increased performance and capacity.  The proper number of high-performance access points enables you to access the WLAN easily—and keeps you from creating unfriendly work-around solutions like my formerly favorite hotel.


How are you addressing density in your organization?


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matt_Bianco | ‎10-20-2011 10:18 AM

Err...Cisco 3600 series AP already has 3 spatial streams

Rich Horsley | ‎10-20-2011 09:29 PM

Yes, Cisco’s website has a new product on it, the 3600 series, supporting 3 spatial streams.  HP launched the MSM46X family of access points in February, 2011, bringing the first enterprise class AP with 3 spatial streams to market.  Since that time Meraki, Aruba and now Cisco have also added similar products.  The improved performance from 3 spatial stream products looks like something the entire industry can agree upon.

Michael Torch | ‎10-31-2011 01:29 PM

Reading some documentation, 802.11n is able to do 4x4:4 MIMO. So, is there a reason, why noone supplies those access points?

PacoBell | ‎12-02-2011 11:58 AM

Yeah, I don't quite get the reluctance to go full-bore with 4x4:4 (we might even see 8x8:8 with 802.11ac). The usual excuse is mobility doesn't use it and any noise brings the connection down to :2 or :3 automatically. But there have been ways of mitigating both those concerns for a long while now. This situation just doesn't compute, unless they're trying to milk as much money as possible from consumers via incremental upgrades. 

Rich Horsley | ‎12-05-2011 05:59 PM

The Cisco 3600 AP is the first to address 4x4 MIMO.  Remember that in networks (both wired & wireless) there are two sides of the equation... the network hardware (switch or access point) and the client (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.).  Many times the hardware manufacturers are driving the performance and create solutions that clients aren't quite ready to support.  Shortly after the MSM460 access point was launched in February 2011, with capability to support 450Mbps, the Intel NICs became available to support this as well.  I anticipate the industry will experience the same with 4x4 MIMO.

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