Meru launches ‘industry’s fastest’ 802.11ac access point at GITEX

Meru Networks this week used GITEX as a platform to regionally launch the new AP832, which it says the market’s fastest 802.11ac access point.

The AP832 delivers up to three times the performance of competing 802.11n access points, Meru said in a statement.

“We have put two 11ac radios into the product, whereas most of our competitors just put one 11ac in. It’s future-proofing our customers because, today, most of the devices are 11n but, three years from now, everything will be 11ac,” Manish Rai, Vice President, Corporate Marketing, Meru Networks, told 60 Minutes.

Adoptions of the 802.11ac standard is being driven by the quickly growing number of mobile devices, the BYOD trend and high-bandwidth applications such as HD video, video conferencing and cloud-based services and storage. Consumer devices such as smartphones and tablets are already available with 802.11ac support.

The speed of the device can also be attributable to the vendor’s Virtual Cell, a single-channel option provided by the MobileFlex architecture, Rai said. This also makes the device far more useful in large-event environments, such as GITEX, he added.

“Generally, each client looks at the access points near it, and it makes the decision on which one to connect to. It’s a sticky-client problem – your device will keep dropping signal bars until it’s really far away, and then it’ll latch onto the next access point. It affects your performance. But since we advertise the same mac address on every access point by virtualising the RF layer, the client sees it as one giant access point,” he explained.

Rai also said that Meru believes the new AP832 to be one of the “greenest” 11ac access points to have hit the market in recent years due to the fact that it runs on standard power over Ethernet (PoE). While most competitors require the more power-hungry PoE-plus for full functionality, Meru’s AP832 runs squarely on standard PoE, he said.

The Meru AP832 is available now with a list price of US$1,295.

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