IP67 802.11ac Outdoor WiFi access point

Members -

Looking for your ideas on what would make for an ideal 802.11ac outdoor WIFi access point and for what kind of deployments?

if there were a wifi access points with these specs (or the alternatives) which one woudl you choose based on your need?

1. Dual band 802.11ac outdoor AP

2. 2x2 Mimo or would you think a 3x3 MIMO is better for an additional price

3. 802.11ac wave 1 or the alternative 802.11ac wave 2

4. 26 dBm Tx power  or the alternative - 30

5. How much would you think is a good price for a 2x2   or for a 3x3 AP?

6. What other compelling features should we carry that is missing in the market today?

1. Support PoE out driving Cambium (Canopy) and/or standard PoE?

2 512 user density?

3. other ideas?

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It should be  AP High End , SME and SOHO  devices, all are 802.11ac.

AP HE should have  indoor and outdoor ( HotSpot)) variants.  AP HE outdoor  should have MSRP price  about $300-400. AP HE indoor - about $200. AP HE outdoor should have  2 variants  Connectorised  and Integrated antenna. AP HE indoor - integrated antenna

AP SME and SOHO should be only indoor with integrated  antenna,  price below $60-70 for SOHO and $100-150  for SME devices.

AP HE desirable features:

- dual band 2.4  and 5 GHz, but if it causes  to increasing  price, they should be separate devices.

- 802.11 AC  wave 2  MU-MIMO  with  MIMO 4x4:4 or more   ( 4+ transmitters)  and 128/256 users per stream or not less then 256 ( 512 is desirable) users per  MIMO 2x2 frequency channel.

It should be real true implementation  of MU-MIMO.  Also AC wave 2  beamforming  is also will be excellent competetive  advantage. If AC currently does not provide real beamforming, then some kind of proprietary beamforming/beam steering implementation , that increases distance and users' modulation will be good . 

AP 3x3 IMHO  is not viable at least for next 2-3 years. 

-max Tx 30 dBm. 

- some kind of Airtime Fairness implementation  between 802.11ac, n, a/g users and also possibly between users in "good" and "bad" connection conditions.  If it is not properly supported   by 802.11AC  technologies itself,    it should be proprietary implementation. In any case  AP  MUST have this feature and it should be front-page  advertised , that  promises  to achieve   more user's density and throughput against competetors .

SME and SOHO AP  AC should be  simplified version of AP HE.

AP should have necessary L2/L3 networking features, all others should be supported by cnMaesto controller.

AP SOHO and SME should have some specific  minor (but important  for their tasks)  features, that AP HE may not have . Also  cn Maestro features for  supporting  public access (as  public HotSpot ) is separate question. 


1- Dual band is a must these days.But i have a feeling that outdoor 256qam with 160mhz channels won't work very well...

For most outdoor deployments, the correct antenna choice and placement is so much more important than the technology of the radios, that, future-proofing aside, i see no compelling reason to try out AC
(keeping in mind that, as most consumer equipment only really works well in G/N mode, and 20mhz fixed channels, we plan our public-outdoor networks based on those constraints)

I would buy a better antenna with a standard technology radio attached/in it any day of the week.

2- Consumers/Event guests don't tend to keep their devices's antennas oriented in H/V, it is a very chaotic scenario in that sense.
You guys think that MiMo 3x3 would be able to work better with standard 2 antenna equipment? if that's the case, then yes, we would pay more for it.
If 3x3 would only affect "3x3 ready" consumer equipment, then we have the same problem we have with AC tech: Our connecting device demographics wouldn't benefit from the feature.

3- What difference does it make? the majority of consumer equipment will take at least 3 years to start to really benefit from AC-1, let alone AC-2.

4- Make the transmitters clean, if possible with better "knee" / edge-roll-off characteristics so we can put more channels closer together.

26dbm is waaay past overkill. I've never seen a cell-phone putting out more than 14dbm conducted power, and laptops are usually in the 18dbm region.

Keeping in mind the bi-directional nature of wi-fi comms, there is little point having an AP that can talk way much louder than the devices connected to it.
An AP with 30dbm output power would only confuse the device's roaming algorithms, and the  guy with the 14db tx-power cell-phone would be shouting profanities about the full-bars wi-fi network that won't connect.
it is a very misleading capability, that perpetuates the myth that "more power is better".

5- really depends on what part of the world you're in?

6- USB port, so we can plug in an NFC terminal, Mr.user touches his iphone and pays for 30mins connection with Apple-pay?

7- Standard. so it will be compatible with all POE switches out there.
If there would be a secondary-aux port, standard is good too, as the new epmp gear supports it.

8- 512 user density with csma protocol? I think radio-side roaming and "user number ballancing" would give better results.
But i don't have any issues with the AP's being able to handle an arbitrary number of users.. :)

9- USB port is a very cheap and almost guaranteed way to make future expansions..


Oh, and strip-out B-mode compatibility. The stuff is 16 years old.

The bandwidth and latency needs of the many outweighs the need of the one thing that is old enough to not support G-mode.

If possible make enabling B an option, but not standard.
Devices tend to try to fallback to B mode because they can TX more power in that mode, but in doing that they slow down the whole pool of connected devices, causing packet-loss and whatnot.

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I'd like a model that is connectorized that allows me to attach either omni's or the directional panel of my choice. As an enterprise level outdoor access point, it would probably be helpful to have 802.11ac wave 2 support, which includes MU-MIMO support, but I believe the spec requires a minimum of 3x3. I would imagine that there would be more benefit to using MU-MIMO in an outdoor setting where you have many clients spread out over a larger area and greater distance, rather than for instance in a building or office.


All - thank you for the feedback so far. We are factoring some of this into our plans for 1H 2016. Will keep you posted as we come back with some possible options ...

How about LTE co-existence capability (mainly for 2.4GHz)? Does anyone encounter interference from cell stations nearby or on the same roof/tower/pole? 

good point about 802.11b mode "dragging" down networks in some cases. The chipsets all support it, but it is a good idea in some deployments to disable it (i.e. just use 802.11n mode). 


Mu-MIMO is ideal for more than 3x3 I agree and 4x4 is available now. You can do Mu-MIMO with just 2 clients in a 2x2, but the advantage isn't as beneficial as 3x3 and 4x4. Outdoor might be better as you indicate since there is normally more spatial separation between clients vs. indoor which helps the coding isolation. Good stuff.