Best Practice for Wi-Fi 6E Migration

By Cambium Networks

I love to get back out in the field and work face to face with people building Wi-Fi deployments. Years back, I designed and implemented the Wi-Fi in the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Now, I am working with Cambium Networks helping service providers and enterprises implement the latest Wi-Fi technology. The challenges are familiar, the device density and demand for throughput is unprecedented.

Network operators are always improving the connectivity: fixing coverage holes, increasing speeds or identifying opportunities for expansion. Of course, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E is bigger, better and faster. But some have questions about strategies for implementing 6E and want to be sure that they can have continuity of service as they migrate when the devices begin to appear. It’s important to choose the solution that will work best at the lowest total cost over the long term.

High Density Applications

I have deep experience with Xirrus equipment and am glad that Xirrus technology and I are both now a part of Cambium Networks. If the application is for high user density applications like auditoriums, meeting places and gathering areas the Wi-Fi will need to support many devices without straining. That way, all users have a positive experience.

Software Defined Radios

Nobody is doing software definable radios like we do. Some have, you know, a few features on one or two of their APs, but nobody does it like Cambium Networks. Let me show you what I mean and how this capability can change the way you look at migration.

Smooth Migration to Wi-Fi 6E

This is where Wi-Fi 6E (which supports new 6 GHz Wi-Fi band) and the XE3-4 access point lead the pack in my opinion. The access point is equipped with three radios. When you open the box and pull it out, you can use all three radios today – even if there are no Wi-Fi 6E devices anywhere near it. The AP is smart enough to use the standard 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands for traffic to start. The third radio is software-defined to run either 5 GHz or 6 GHz depending on your situation. You can begin running it at 5 GHz and selectively move APs to 6 GHz when you are ready. The APs sense the presence of Wi-Fi 6E devices. Need more capacity? Check out the XE5-8 access point which is one-of-a-kind AP for high density situations.

This gives the network operator a whole lot of power and capability to be able to have a full use of all three radios, the entire duration of the life cycle of this access point. You have the flexibility so that when you start to see those 6 GHz clients you can choose to accommodate them with 6 GHz frequency. It’s as easy as literally flipping a switch in the XMS-Cloud or cnMaestro™ cloud management system, which will change the behavior of the Wi-Fi 6 access points on demand. No ladders, no replacement, no dust – no problem.

For more information on Wi-Fi 6E, check out this Tolly on Technology podcast where Kevin Tolly, Founder of the Tolly Group and Bruce Miller, Vice President Enterprise Marketing discuss the technology and migration path.

There’s no better way to migrate to Wi-Fi 6E than with the XE access points and cnMaestro cloud management or XMS-Cloud from Cambium Networks. Contact Us if you want to chat about your migration.

Published June 28, 2022