- Posted by IPTel Solutions
- On March 2, 2019
- 0 Comments
We thought it might be an interesting test to do some tests on how each of the new AP types perform. One of the primary differences between the Cisco 1702, 2702 and 3702 is the number of antennas in use. The maximum radiated power from an AP is limited by the regulatory domain, so as more antennas are added, the AP will push less power to each antenna – however the overall radiated power is the same. The difference though is more antennas means more special streams, higher throughput and more consistent coverage.
The tests below detail how consistent the coverage is from each of the AP types, so we can see if the additional antennas make a lot of difference to the coverage pattern or not. The surveys were conducted using AirMagnet with the Proxim adapters in use.
The coverage results show the comparison for each of the AP types at 10mW and 20mW. The 3702’s have different power levels, and were tested at 12.5mW and 25mW. The cut-off point has been set as -67dB for the Primary coverage, which is typical for voice type coverage.
Let’s see how each AP type performs in comparison to each other.
First up is the Cisco 1702i access point. This AP has 3×3 MIMO with two spatial streams.
The 1702 provides nice even coverage and as you’d expect, increasing the power also increased the coverage provided. Each 3dB is a doubling of power, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see that while the coverage pattern has indeed expanded, its not as significant as you might have expected.
Next up is the Cisco 2702i. This AP has 3×4 MIMO with three spatial streams.
Any perceived difference is fairly inconclusive between the Cisco 1702i and the Cisco 2702i. While it did in some of the tests provide a more even coverage than the 1702i, the 1702i itself performed marginally better. Note though that this is not a throughput test, only a base coverage test. The 2702i would be expected to outperform the 1702i in any throughput tests.
Finally is the Cisco 3702i. This AP has 4×4 MIMO with three spatial streams.
The Cisco 3702i does show itself as the clear winner in the testing. It provided noticeably better coverage on the 2.4GHz band and some improved coverage on the 5GHz band. Noting that the AP was running 1dB more than the 17021 / 2702i tests (although this is not a significant amount of power more).
The aim of the testing was determine if there was much difference between the coverage provided by the 1702i, the 2702i and the 3702i. The result is a fairly indistinct ‘not much’.
The 3702i did indeed perform better than the other two AP types, as you’d expect, although its list price is significantly more. We didn’t test the throughput or number of clients each might support – I would suspect this would reveal a much greater difference between the AP types than the base coverage testing did. In the end, the main differentiator has got to be the ability of the 3702i series to support add-in modules – with the introduction of both the WiPS and Hyperlocation modules.
This is a compelling argument for the 3702i, but only if your budget can stretch to cover these modules, in addition to this top-of-the-line AP.