AP541 Wireless

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Jan 14th, 2010
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Cisco Guys,

So I just got my 541's and was pretty excited... but I have now had some 'waning' of excitement.

So this looks like quite a capable unit, and has some good features for an smb ap, especially the clustering.

Unfortunately, a deal breaker for me is the fact that both radios can't be on at the same time.  I think that this is a fairly big shortcoming.  It means that if you do want to deploy an a and bg network then you have to double up on your ap's.

I understand that this is a designed for an smb solution, but for me, it would be good if we could say I want phones on a and all my data clients on bg, which would be appealing to me.



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David Hornstein Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:10
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Hi Chris,

As you guessed and from the installation guide the radio cannot run dual radio running at the same time.

It's interesting that you have a IP phone running wireless 'a' , but as you figured the AP541 is actually very very capable.

If it's possible in your environment, to segement or setup multiple vlans for both data and voice clients and then prioritize the voice vlan.

regards Dave

CHRIS YEO Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:35
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Thanks for your response.  The 7921 and 7925 are both dual band phones, in my case I have the 7921 in our lab.

Is there going to be any plans to make this dual capable at the same time, either through firmware or a separate product?  Our should I just continue upselling the non smb wireless?



John Platts Fri, 01/15/2010 - 10:58
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Dual-radio capability is actually not a must-have feature for us. Our customers often have wireless equipment that does not have 802.11n or 802.11a wireless capability, but has 802.11g or 802.11b capability. In addition, some wireless-N devices are not capable of utilizing the 5 Ghz band, and can only utilize the 2.4Ghz band. In addition, in scenarios where wireless IP phones and 5 Ghz wireless-N capable data devices are used, the wireless IP phones can be connected through AP541N AP's in wireless-G mode and the data devices being on AP541N's in 5Ghz 802.11n or 802.11a/n mode.

CHRIS YEO Sat, 01/16/2010 - 18:22
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Hi John...

It's too bad that this product states doing exactly what I say (other than no voice)...


for example, use the 2.4 GHz band to surf, email and print while keeping the less crowded 5 GHz band free for time sensitive traffic like music, gaming and high-definition video.

It's too bad, that the decision has been made that that is not important.  It effectively doubles capacity on the access point, and since you have both radios in the device, it just seems like a poor decision.

I guess it would cannibalize the sales of the wlc + 1142 or 1500 series ap's.

Personally we had a wireless situation recently that because we had the 1142's and could run a and b/g that it allowed us to double the amount of users per ap, which significantly increased the user satisfaction.


I guess it is a moot point if the decision has been made.

richroller Mon, 01/18/2010 - 19:33
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I have to agree with Chris 100%.  I was really jazzed up to see that the 541N had Cluster Management (something I've been asking for for years re the 12XX & 11XX lines) but then disappointed to learn that it cannot do simultaneous dual-band.  Especially when some lower-end WAP's (Linksys & otherwise) can do this.

A Cisco SB sales guy referred me to this forum so that I could answer a specific question.  And since it is totally related to this thread, I guess I will ask it here:

Can Cisco product managers confirm that there are no plans to release another WAP product in the Small Business Pro line (e.g. AP500) which would allow simultaneous dual-band?

I'm assuming the answer is no, and that for the foreseeable future, if you want a "true Cisco" product to do this, you should look to the 1142.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.


alissitz Tue, 01/19/2010 - 09:05
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I will request from the product manager about the road map.  Stay tuned. 

Kindest regards,


alissitz Tue, 01/19/2010 - 09:25
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Good afternoon Rich.

It was nice to chat today.  As mentioned I have sent several emails out with questions to the product managers.  Hope to hear back soon.

Referring to the webinar we did Devc 17th, here is the link to past webinars.  Just click on Dec recordings.


The Dec 17th webinar discussed enterprise products, wireless N, wireless surveys and coverage, as well as small business product positioning.

I will post some updates when I hear back from the PMs.  More to come,


CHRIS YEO Tue, 01/19/2010 - 14:39
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Is the webcast from last Thursday available offline?



alissitz Tue, 01/19/2010 - 16:14
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Hello Everyone,

Chris - follow the above link and you will see the Jan 14th recording and ppt. You can also view former presentations.  Feel free to use this or a new thread to ask any questions / post comments.

Rich - concerning adding clustering to the 1140 series, I have recieved word from the PM that this is not on the road map and not planned either. 

Rich - I am still checking on the additional questions.  Stay tuned

Andrew Lissitz

alissitz Wed, 01/20/2010 - 13:43
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Hello team,

A couple of updates.

Rich and Chris -

1) Dual radios will be coming out, but we do not have a date.  This has been under strong consideration, and I have been informed that this will make it to market ... but a lot goes into the time lines, executive commit process etc ...

Chris another reason for not having dual radios is so that we can keep the costs down and make this product more acceptable to small businesses.  We want you to win every time, and so we need to have products for all types of customers.  I hope this helps explain some.

2) Internal antennas - under consideration.  Thanks Rich for raising this request. 

Many thanks guys,


richroller Wed, 01/20/2010 - 14:15
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Much thanks for chasing that info down Andrew!

Personally I think that an AP500 with dual-radio and internal antennas would be a killer product:

  - protected antennas

  - embracing old clients on 2.4ghz

  - maximizing N performance using 5.0ghz

  - and all at the same time... something the 541 can't do

Plus Cisco can keep selling the single-radio 541 to those who want to keep the cost to a minimum.

I just wish such a product existed for my deployment that's 1-2 months away.


alissitz Wed, 01/20/2010 - 14:21
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Thanks Rich.  I will pass this on as well.