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Get Maximum Speed Out of Your Dual 5-GHz Network

You've seen them in "Fast and Furious" – drag racers outfitted with nitrous oxide engines to boost performance. Their engines are designed to use nitrous oxide, rather than air, to burn the fuel at a higher rate and boost horsepower. But your minivan – or other street cars – simply cannot take advantage of this performance boost as they are not designed to burn nitrox.

Similarly, if you want to soup up your wireless network to make the most of 5 GHz, make sure your wireless access points are designed for the job. Almost a year ago, we published a blog about dual 5GHz access points and the need to design the network for both coverage and capacity by optimizing the usage of 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands.

But how about turbocharging network performance when we are operating in dual 5GHz? Unfortunately, due to the high level of noise and interference between the radios in a dual 5GHz AP, vendors cannot deliver the optimal performance unless they take the RF characteristics into consideration with the design.

Just as car engines need to be designed to boost performance, the network needs to be designed for dual 5GHz to get higher performance. Yet the reality is most vendors claim to have dual 5GHz without the right design.

Until now.

High level of noise between the antennas  

The primary reason for the noise is through the coupling between the antennas. Unless the radios are using strictly directional antennas pointing in different directions and/or have significant spacing between the antennas (multiple feet), it is impossible to achieve this level of isolation, and performance will be compromised. Somehow, we have to reduce the noise to at least 60 dB to get a clear signal.


What are our options to reduce the noise?

We can apply different remedies to reduce the noise: Either physically increase the distance between the antennas on the two radios — which basically means we have to do magic as this is not possible within the physical confines of a single AP — or filter the noise between the two radios. And since we don't have a magic wand, we delivered on the latter.

The new Aruba 340 series access points are the first and only dual-5GHz APs in the industry to be designed from the ground up to filter the interference between the two radios. Our design includes effective filtering to increase the level of noise suppression, resulting in an optimal performance when operating in dual 5GHz. This allows us to deliver double the 5GHz capacity and performance.


Dual 5 GHz doubles the 802.11ac capacity

The filtering in our new access points enables a true doubling of capacity. Two users at the same distance from an Aruba 340 have the same signal strength and throughput on either of the two radios. The two radios operate independently without impairing the operation of the other and are completely asynchronous.

Picture1-2.pngLooking at the entire network to optimize

As Aruba has stated before, a network cannot simply use two 5 GHz radios on every AP so it's critical to look at the entire network design. Other than filtering, the Aruba 340 access points use the following attributes to increase capacity and performance:

  1. Have an optimal network solution and maximize the utility of all frequencies bands (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) based on client capabilities.
  1. Rightsize the number of radios operating in 5 GHz – Aruba AirMatch intelligently manages radios on 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and those that are placed in monitoring or test functions to ensure the best performance for the network.
  1. Match radio resources to the user demand – With Aruba's patented ClientMatch technology, we ensure that the radio resources are dynamically matched to the user demands. This automated intelligence enables the Aruba network to dynamically set the radios into dual-band (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) or dual-5GHz mode based on the density, interference and client radio capabilities, all without an IT admin having to manually tune the network. This delivers the best coverage and capacity that delivers a superior result and avoids the RF impairments of other designs.

Learn more

If you are a tech guru and interested to know more about how we double the capacity with dual 5 GHz, please check out Eric Johnson's (or as several of us refer to him because of his RF expertise, "Dr. RF") blog "How Aruba Optimizes Performance for Dual 5 GHz Radio APs"

Read the AP 340 series data sheet.