Wireless networking vendor Meru Networks is going big in the wireless LAN space with a new 802.11ac access point (AP) that the company claims is the “world’s fastest 802.11ac enterprise AP.”
That statement may or may not be true—after all, the market hasn’t been flooded with 802.11ac APs and probably won’t until the standard is ratified by the IEEE. Still, in the words of Samuel L. Jackson in the movie, “Pulp Fiction,” that’s a bold statement.
Meru’s confident, however, thanks in large part to its MobileFlex architecture, which offers single-channel usage at the full 80MHz, and channel layering to add more capacity rather than avoid interference, according to the company.
The AP 832 features two dual-band 802.11ac-supporting radios capable of simultaneously transmitting on the 5Ghz band, which is what enables users to overlay 802.11ac APs on 802.11n networks to solve capacity problems in high-density environments, the company noted. Plus, it is backwards-compatible to support 802.11n clients in both 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz bands.
But what might be the niftiest part of the AP 832: Meru is offering it for $1,295 list—just $100 more than its 802.11n unit.
“We’ve been cognizant about Meru’s differentiation in the marketplace, and we’re at a unique point in time when we can come out and be aggressive,” said Dennis Huang, product manager at Meru Networks. “We are leaning forward in our push from the industry and customers to look at ac closely today [even though the standard hasn’t been ratified] rather than next year. That’s why we’ve priced it so closely to our n model.”
While the AP would be a good fit into pretty much any enterprise space, Meru focuses its technology into the healthcare, education and hospitality verticals—areas where high-density and many different user profiles are the norm. With that in mind, the channel layer usage on the AP 832 can be controlled by policy for greater quality of service and application reliability.
Huang believes the market for 802.11ac APs is growing, and partners who have technology to offer today will come out ahead of the game when the standard is ratified.
“Right now those using 802.11ac are less than 10 percent, but we expect to see ac follow something more closely to the n adoption curve,” he said.