Meru Networks has announced a significant expansion of its 802.11ac Wi-Fi portfolio with two new dual-radio, dual-stream (2x2) access points – the industry’s first 802.11ac wall plate access point, the AP122 (pictured), and a new general purpose access point, the AP822.
The new products extend the benefits of gigabit Wi-Fi to broader markets at lower price points and with higher performance than competitive offerings. Both of the new access points support data rates of up to 867Mbps as compared to competitors' 3X3 solutions that are typically limited to 600Mbps data rates.
Meru’s higher data rates are enabled by the Meru MobileFLEX architecture, which supports full use of the 80MHz channel specified by the 802.11ac standard. Others recommend narrower 40MHz channels in enterprise-wide deployments, which reduces their access points’ data rates.
“It’s now very clear that 802.11ac is the strategic direction for organisations of all sizes everywhere, but also that a variety of access points is required to address all market requirements,” said Craig Mathias, a principal with the wireless and mobile advisory firm Farpoint Group.
“The Meru AP 122’s broad range of applications and the AP822’s performance and price add to the clear and compelling case for moving to 802.11ac instead of expanding legacy 802.11n networks.”
IDC forecasts that the number of network-connected devices will grow from 10 billion in 2013 to 212 billion in 20201. To support this explosion of devices, the new 802.11ac standard combines multiple Wi-Fi channels to provide gigabit Wi-Fi data rates and support higher device densities.
This reduces the number of available channels, posing little problem for the single-channel deployment option of the Meru MobileFLEX architecture, but hindering other vendors’ Wi-Fi access point deployment strategies. Other vendors assume a minimum of three overlapping channels to enable enterprise-wide Wi-Fi coverage.
Meru AP122 wall plate access point
The AP122 is the first 802.11ac wall plate access point and is specifically designed to meet the ever-increasing mobile data needs of hotel guests, as well as resident college and university students.
With up to 1.2 gigabit-per-second data rates for only $595, the AP122 is perfectly suited to the in-room deployment needs of the hotel, cruise line and higher-education residence-hall markets.
Designed to provide maximum coverage and capacity in multi-tenant environments, its inconspicuous design eases in-room cabling and placement and maximizes deployment flexibility.
Meru AP822 access point
The AP822, with its optimal balance of low cost and high performance, is uniquely positioned to meet the growing need for 802.11ac WLAN in a wide variety of markets.
Delivering up to 1.2 gigabit-per-second data rates for only $895, the 2X2 802.11ac AP822 is an obvious choice for schools, hospitals, hotels and other businesses seeking to give end users the high-performance of 802.11ac Wi-Fi at a lower cost than existing 3X3 solutions.
Meru 802.11ac solutions run on standard 802.3af Power of Ethernet (PoE). This greatly lowers total cost of ownership, eliminating the need for customers to upgrade their entire Ethernet switching infrastructure to support 802.3at, or PoE+, as currently required by most Meru competitors when deploying 802.11ac.
Meru 802.11ac access points support devices on both the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands and increase the performance of legacy clients, with Meru customers citing as much as 40 percent increased throughput when using 802.11n clients on its 802.11ac networks.
"The AP822 and AP122 extend Meru’s leadership in the 802.11ac market, giving us the broadest gigabit Wi-Fi portfolio to meet the widest range of customer needs,” said Manish Rai, vice president of marketing for Meru.
“The performance advantages enabled by the MobileFLEX architecture give users unprecedented capacity and productivity improvement and make Meru a clear choice in education, healthcare, hospitality and general enterprise.”
The AP822 is available immediately. The AP122 will be available in the second half of 2014.