Client density

7 posts by 4 authors in: Forums > CWNA - Enterprise Wi-Fi Admin
Last Post: August 13, 2009:
  • (Pardon me if this has been discussed before)

    What is the maximum client density of a typical AP in your WLAN?

    10 - 20 clients
    20 - 40 clients
    40 - 60 clients
    60 - 100 clients
    > 100 clients (I doubt this :) )

  • In A WLAN or OUR WLAN?


  • It all depends on what the design of the Wireless LAN. If you are designing for a VoIP and the vendor recommends no more than 7 active calls per access point... then that should be your design goal. (Remember this is a goal based on devices, not users)

    I've seen great running systems for bar-code scanners only that work fairly well with 40+, and as low as 10.

    Surfing type work in a hotspot at 40+, and again as low as 10 and not working.

    This question is really a design requirements question, not "what are you using" - without asking what was your design goal? first.

  • Thanks Keith & GT for your responses.
    Ya, I agree, it is a design question and I should have been more precise in my question.

    I am trying to see if I can get some empirical numbers of what today's deployments look like while considering typical enterprise data traffic (e.g., web, emails, file access).

  • Even if you had your 3rd party do an 'Active' survey - that would give you actual data rates and error rates - that still wouldn't answer your question.

    The only way to get an answer to your question would be have a real load on all the access points simultaneously, and then do an Active survey.

    The problem with co-channel interference is that it normally doesn't rear it's ugly head until your network is under load. Just a simple ping test on all the APs will not let you know (in the least) how the network will react under a load.

    By doing an accurate test of co-channel information - you can way better 'predict' what might happen under load. Minimizing interference is the best way to lessen collision domains (shared frequency).

  • But with only 3 non-overlapping channels in 2.4 Ghz, can a today's enterprise mitigate co-channel interference?
    (I am not sure if all clients support 802.11a band and hence, "enforcing" 802.11a mode may be hard)

    Further, since doing manual surveys are not always possible, how will they provision the system - e.g., how many clients should be allowed to connect to an AP?

  • Hi Gopinath ,

    The number of clients that one AP can accomadate
    depends on the following

    1)Type of encrytption used .
    2)Type of Authentication used .
    3)The processing power and memory of AP .
    4)Type of applications they use .

    I have seen 60 clients happily connected and surfing on a enterprise AP and i have also seen APs kicking off clients with 15 clients running ERP applications .

    A base line analysis is essential before we decide the number of clients an AP can associate .

    There are lot of 802.11a capalble phones available in the market .If 2.4 ghz doesnt help we need to move to 5Ghz .

    Say cant operate in 2.4ghz peacefully when you have someting like vivato/wavion sitting next door :)

    Hope this helps

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