Wi-Fi Spectrum Management

Questions and Discussions Below

Welcome to this Thought Leadership Discussion about managing the unlicensed RF spectrum in wireless LANs (WLANs).

Wi-Fi networks operate in unlicensed wireless frequencies in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Because these bands are unlicensed, everyone has equal rights to use them. As more Wi-Fi networks get deployed, the more crowded these "free" frequencies get. So it's important to protect communications growing increasingly prone to interference that can cause connectivity and performance problems.

discussion addresses approaches to successfully managing spectrum and discovering and acting on sources of interference so that businesses can optimize performance and lower the risk of their Wi-Fi connections. Please feel free to participate by posting your own questions and comments, which our participating thought leaders will answer in a timely fashion.


Other vendors take different approaches to spectrum management. One, for example, uses an architecture whereby the controller manages both APs and clients and puts all APs on a single channel far apart from one another at full power. The vendor says this approach eliminates most interference. What is your argument against this architecture and in favor of your own approach to spectrum management?

Another vendor uses a smart-antenna architecture it says doesn't propagate energy in directions other than toward the receiving clients, keeping interference to a minimum that way. What is your argument against this architecture and in favor of your own approach to spectrum management?


It seems that having an independent system (AirMagnet) provides a truly independent view of the network regardless of the AP supplier. However, the Cisco approach only works if it's used with Cisco APs (I assume). This also could lead to a follow-up on economics. Which is the more cost-effective method? What are the pros and cons? Can CleanAir work in conjunction with non-Cisco APs?


How could a discussion of spectrum mgmt be complete with talking about dynamic frequency selection? We are a coastal community and an occasional ship that fires up its radar (we think) makes one of our outdoor links go nuts hopping around. I'm wondering whether indoor LAN equipment will be effectively shielded from the radar pulses that trigger DFS. I know that most contemporary wi-fi gear includes the UNI-II band where DFS is in effect.

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