HPE Aruba Networking Blogs

Introducing Wi-Fi 6 Access Points for the Most Demanding Mobile and IoT Environments

I am sure by now you’ve heard about the latest Wi-Fi technology, which is 802.11ax or Wi-Fi 6. We’ve been very active educating you about this standard for the past year. Please check out this blog series here.

We’ve been building a portfolio of high-performance 802.11ax APs to meet a broad range of enterprise needs. Last fall, we introduced our first 802.11ax campus access point, the 510 Series, which is ideal for midsize mobile and IoT deployments.

Today, I am excited to announce we have two new additions to our Aruba AP family. The Aruba 530 Series and Aruba 550 Series access points are new 802.11ax access points designed for very high-density networks. The 530 Series delivers high performance access for high-density mobile and IoT environments. The 550 Series is designed for extremely high density deployments. In fact, the 550 series is the first 802.11ax Wi-Fi Alliance certifiable 8x8 MIMO access point.

Aruba’s line of 802.11ax APs deliver 4x the capacity of 802.11ac APs—and an exceptional user experience in a broad variety of scenarios with artificial intelligence (AI). Support for OFDMA increases efficiency and also decreases latency, which especially vital for voice, IoT and other applications that have short packets. Support for MU-MIMO enables multiple devices to transmit at once—up to four clients with the 530 series and up to eight clients with the 550 series—further improving the user experience.

Not Just Wi-Fi Connectivity: Access Points as the IoT Platform
With all the IoT use cases coming to the network beyond Wi-Fi, we want the network to serve as an IoT platform as well. When we built the newest 802.11ax access points, we added 802.15.4, which supports Zigbee, in addition to our Bluetooth 5 radio. This way, we provide one platform to connect both to mobile and IoT devices.  Please check out my previous blog about our IoT use cases.

Automated RF Optimization with AI
By applying AI and machine learning, Aruba can optimize the RF with AirMatch and ClientMatch. Using AI, AirMatch provides better channel planning and power planning to make sure users get the best experience possible, even in dense environments.

Keep in mind, the key to successful application of AI is not limited to the algorithm, but also having the domain expertise, accessing to the right data and the real-world experiences and use cases to validate the solution. Aruba is well positioned with years of domain expertise and thousands of customers and use cases.

Let’s take a look at the new APs:

Aruba 530 Series for High Density Environments
The 530 Series AP is ideal for high density environments, such as education, retail stores, hotels and digital workplaces. The AP has a dual (4x4 MIMO) radio with uplink and downlink OFDMA and Multi-User MIMO for a superior user experience. Each radio can support more than 1000 clients. It includes Bluetooth and Zigbee radios to easily support IoT and location use cases.

Aruba 550 Series for Extreme Density Environments
The 550 Series AP is ideal for large public venues, universities, hotels and enterprise offices.  The 550 Series supports OFDMA and MU-MIMO for an unsurpassed user experience. The 550 Series has an 8x8 MIMO radio with up to eight spatial streams in the 5GHz band and a 4x4 MIMO with up to four spatial streams in the 2.4GHz band. In an optional tri-radio operating mode, the 5GHz radio can be split into two independent 4x4 MIMO radios with up to four spatial streams each, enabling even higher numbers of simultaneously connected clients. Like the 530 Series, each radio can support more than 1000 clients. Also like the 530 Series, it includes Bluetooth and Zigbee radios to easily support IoT and location services.

Intelligent Power Consumption
As higher performance 802.11ax access points have to handle a greater number of devices and traffic, they will drive the need for more power consumption. To offset these demands, Aruba NetInsight Green AP feature can turn off certain APs when the APs are not being used. Imagine a university stadium that has thousands of APs that are not used all the time. The energy and cost savings can really add up.

Other than Intelligent Power Monitoring, there is a unique feature that we added to our 530 and 550 Series to help customers use their existing switching running 802.3at and still be able to reap the benefits of 802.11ax. This feature allows  two Ethernet ports to aggregate the power coming from the switch to have enough PoE for the AP.

Eliminate Blind Spots in Dense Environments
As mobile and IoT devices continue to flood into our environments, we know that connectivity isn’t the only challenge. Enterprise IT managers are also struggling to get visibility and control over everything that’s connected to their networks.

That’s why today we also introduced ClearPass Device Insight, a new AI-powered device discovery and profiling solution that provides a complete and granular view of everything on the network whether connected wired or wirelessly.

Go Deeper into 802.11ax

Catch up on our 802.11ax blog series.

6 Ways 802.11ax Gives You a Better Wi-Fi Experience

6 Reasons Why 802.11ax Would Be the Preferred IoT Platform

Goals and Key Features of 802.11ax

Why OFDMA is a Magical Feature in the 802.11ax Standard