Wireless Channel Width Question - 20 vs 40 vs 80Mhz

Posted on 2016-09-20
Last Modified: 2016-09-20
Greetings, everyone.  We have a Meraki deployment with 10 APs and about 80 users in a 25,000 sf space.

Our APs are MR32 - 802.11ac   They are set up to connect clients capable of 5Ghz to that band, then move them to 2.4Ghz if they have older wireless NICs.  Most clients can work at 5Ghz with 802.11n   We have very few 802.11ac clients yet.

I understand that in "high-density" areas, lower channel width is desirable.  But I'm not sure what constitutes "high-density".  Is 80 clients in 25,000 sf considered "high-density" ?  I had the APs set at 80Mhz for the 5Ghz band, but lowered it to 40Mhz.  Is that recommended or is 20Mhz recommended ?  If I understand correctly, I'm sacrificing wireless speed by using lower channel width, right  ?  We're running out of physical ports and there is a lot of mobility around our office (people working all over the place), so wireless speed (at least to access our on-prem file server) is important.

Suggestions ? Does my config sound about right ?

Thanks much.
Question by:lapavoni
LVL 20

Accepted Solution

masnrock earned 500 total points
Comment Utility
Based on the numbers you've presented, you're nowhere near high density. Plus you're covering a very large area, so you're more than good.

Think of it this way: Assuming that each AP is covering an equal area, that's 1 AP per 2500 sq ft. If the wireless devices are spread out evenly, there is one per 312.5 sq ft. No need to think about high density scenarios unless you're planning to be a high density environment over time.

You should be able to use a lot of the defaults in terms of channel width. Signals in surrounding areas might dictate how you handle the channels that users can connect to.

Author Closing Comment

Comment Utility
Very helpful information. Thank you.
LVL 45

Expert Comment

by:Craig Beck
Comment Utility
You can easily accommodate 80 clients in a 25000sqft area using 80MHz channel-widths.  As Mansrock said, it's nowhere near high-density.

In high-density areas you are correct; 80MHz channel-widths is undesirable as it contributes to co-channel interference.  You generally want to put a large number of APs in high-density environments while being able to use channels without your APs interfering with each-other.  In your case your APs will be able to handle the number of clients easily if they're installed in the right place without needing to reduce the channel-width.

Featured Post

IT, Stop Being Called Into Every Meeting

Highfive is so simple that setting up every meeting room takes just minutes and every employee will be able to start or join a call from any room with ease. Never be called into a meeting just to get it started again. This is how video conferencing should work!

Join & Write a Comment

Working settings for French ISP Orange "Prêt à Surfer" SIM cards for data connections only. Can't be found anywhere else !
DECT technology has become a popular standard for wireless voice communication. DECT devices are not likely to be affected by other electronic devices and signals because they operate in a separate frequency-band.
This Micro Tutorial will show you how to maximize your wireless card to its maximum capability. This will be demonstrated using Intel(R) Centrino(R) Wireless-N 2230 wireless card on Windows 8 operating system.
Viewers will learn how to connect to a wireless network using the network security key. They will also learn how to access the IP address and DNS server for connections that must be done manually. After setting up a router, find the network security…

771 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

13 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now