WiFi 6 / 802.11ax AP compare? X50 Series

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I was looking at https://www.commscope.com/product-type/enterprise-networking/wireless-access-points/indoor/Compare/?ids=121604|122464|121608|122466 which compares all the X50 devices. Some list WiFi 6 / ax Wave 2 and some don't. I am trying to understand the wireless differences between these AP. I am not concerned about 1 Gb+ backhaul since I don't need it. I am at a school and need good coverage through walls. We have several AP700 that I am going to replace and hoping for as good if not better range / penetration performance with Microsoft Surface Pro and iPad primarily. Anyone share any advice?
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Brian Hoyt

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Posted 1 month ago

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Darrel Rhodes, Employee

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for your enquiry and great to hear you're an existing Ruckus customer! 

I can confirm that all Ruckus APs that have a '5' middle digit, are Wi-Fi6/802.11ax certified. Currently that is: R850, R750, R650, R550 and T750, with H550 and T350 models to come in the future.

The main differences to look at in comparison are:
i) The number of spatial streams per-radio
ii) The number of concurrent clients supported*
iii) Ethernet interface details
iv) PoE requirements

* This number isn't a suggestion of how many simultaneously connected and active devices to design for on a single AP. It is a performance indicator for deployments of highly mobile clients in a high-density envronment where clients will be quickly roaming to and from the same APs and can remain in the AP's association table to further enhance roaming performance.

E.g. The R750 and R650 look to be very similar APs; both with 4x4:4 capable 5GHz radios, both with 2.5Gbps multi-gig ethernet ports. However, on closer inspection you will see the R650 has 2x2:2 spatial streams on the 2.4GHz radio and simultaneous client support for upto 512 connected devices. Versus, on the R750, 4x4:4 on both radios and 1,024 connected clients.

To build on the fantastic performance you've experienced with th R700 APs, and of course depending on your budget; I'd recommend comparing the R750 and R650 to replace your current deployment.

PoE requirements of the higher specification APs need to be considered as the higher performing Wi-Fi6 APs require more PoE power to enable all hardware features (spatial streams, USB, second Ethernet ports, IoT radios, etc.).  The R750 requires 22.34W for peak functionality, the R650 requires 21.59W. Whereas the R850 requires 31W for full functionality.

Also consider your controller device as older ZoneDirector controllers may not be able to support the latest firmware required to connect Wi-Fi 6/.11ax APs.

You can find your nearest Ruckus partner at the link below, who will be able to help you with the above decision and possibly be able to provide trial APs for you to test.
https://extapps.commscope.com/howtobuy/RuckusChannelPartner?utm_source=ruckus&utm_medium=redirec...

I hope the above helps,
Darrel.

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Brian Hoyt

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Thanks for the detailed answer. For power I can't find on spec sheets if 802.3at is sufficient or if there is need for different power delivery? My switches (Ubiquiti POE) say they can deliver 34.2 W so it seems like that should be good. I have a ZD1200 which with the latest 10.4.1 appears to support these AP if I remove the AP700 which are no longer supported as of 10.4.

I have contacted my existing partner for pricing and support.
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Darrel Rhodes, Employee

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Hi Brian,

Thanks for your response, I'm glad to be of help.

Regarding your PoE query; this can be another point of confusion for all vendors.  A PoE switch can have PoE+ capable ports (upto 30W per port), however the switch's PoE budget is not standards based and is determined by the vendor and model of switch.

E.g. The Ruckus ICX7150-C08P is an 8-port PoE+ capable switch with a PoE budget shared accross all ports of 62 Watts. Conversely; the Ruckus 7150-C10ZP has a PoE budget of 240 Watts, shared accross 10 ports.

It's definitely worth checking this on your Ubiquiti switch because if the unit's total PoE budget is 34.2W then it will only power 1x R650*.
*R650 requires 21.59W for full-performance operation (PoE+). Full details of power requirements and low-power operating modes are on the AP's data-sheet: https://www.commscope.com/globalassets/digizuite/61773-ds-ruckus-r650.pdf

Many thanks,
Darrel.