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Outdoor High-Density/Mixed Environment Cisco AP/Antenna Choices for Data Coverage

We are looking to upgrade our non production use wireless network, which is for providing users typical internet data services. We don't have any wireless engineers on our team, we are primary wired networking guys. We are upgrading our wireless network, because we have a lot more user joining and our AP's in place have too high a client count which has diminsed throughput speeds for our customers. We have two seperate areas that provide this coverage, and both of them are under 1sq mile in size (one is 417,000 sq ft in size/280 estimate users and the other is 590,000 sq ft in size/700-800 users estimate). The environment is rugged (hot/humid/sandy), but flat. The users occupy pods/trailers/tents, so no structure is higher than 15ft.

Within the last year, more users are bringing in smart devices for data services, so our our network is a hybrid network now with a higher-density of users, and 802.11n AP's appear better equipped to handle this kind of load. We currently have a mixture of 1142AP's in side and 1252/1262 AP's outside place in NEMA enclosures, which are tied to two 3560/3750 PoE switches at each location. We don't have enough AP's in place to handle the additional client load to provide suitable data throughput speeds for typical internet data services, and are looking at possibly revamping the whole wireless network with different gear.

We are looking at possibly removing all previous AP's, and putting in place Cisco 1552e AP's (AIR-CAP1552E-A-K9) in both areas, using 3 Cisco dual antennas (AIR-ANT2547V-N) per AP's. We've seen an excel doc floating around on the web to help plan for how many AP's we might need, but the minimum area size for the excel spreasheet calculator is 1sq mile, which is a lot more than what we are looking at for each area. We've attempted to use the WCS in planning mode to map out how many 1552e AP's we need for each area (with our maps we created using Google Maps, and fairly accurate), and reviewed the heat signatures created and it appears the AP count is too high. We got around 20 AP's for one area and 33-35 AP's in the other area, which seems very high. We are looking at mounting the 1552e AP's to poles in each area at a height of around 12-15ft.

We don't know what the client load a 1552e AP can handle, for providing throughput speeds of 1.5Mbps to 5Mbps, to gauge how many AP's we really need, and whether going for using strictly 1552e AP's is the way too go. The 1552e AP's are geared for MESH networks, which is very different from what we have now. Can we set-up the 1552e AP's as stand alones? Do we have to use a different antenna for whatever AP is going to be the RAP? We are looking at using Power Injectors to provide power to the AP's.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Outdoor High-Density/Mixed Environment Cisco AP/Antenna Choi

That setup is your best bet. What you have to look at is the number of hops. I would typically don't have more than two hops. That is map to map to rap. Remember that the 5ghz is your backhaul and you are basically daisy chaining your mesh. What you need is to make sure your 5ghz can link IP with a good backhaul speed. The 2.4ghz will of course cover more area so when you place these mesh AP's, make sure your backhaul has coverage to meet your backhaul requirements. Antennas will be the same for a map or rap. You will need a WLC to actually do mesh and it would be better that way. Even though you can get an autonomous version, it would be a dumb ap per say. Stick with mesh and a WLC and you should be fine.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
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1 REPLY
Hall of Fame Super Silver

Re: Outdoor High-Density/Mixed Environment Cisco AP/Antenna Choi

That setup is your best bet. What you have to look at is the number of hops. I would typically don't have more than two hops. That is map to map to rap. Remember that the 5ghz is your backhaul and you are basically daisy chaining your mesh. What you need is to make sure your 5ghz can link IP with a good backhaul speed. The 2.4ghz will of course cover more area so when you place these mesh AP's, make sure your backhaul has coverage to meet your backhaul requirements. Antennas will be the same for a map or rap. You will need a WLC to actually do mesh and it would be better that way. Even though you can get an autonomous version, it would be a dumb ap per say. Stick with mesh and a WLC and you should be fine.

Sent from Cisco Technical Support iPhone App

-Scott
*** Please rate helpful posts ***
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