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Juniper AP Addresses High-Density Wireless Environments

Juniper Networks has released a new access point designed specifically for high density WiFi environments, such as in a lecture hall filled with users on mobile devices. The new WLA532 supports 802.11n and features dual radios, six antennas, and three streams to support data rates up to 450 Mbps. According to Juniper, it promises to offer 50 percent more capacity and delivers a 40 percent improvement in performance over the company's two-stream 802.11n APs. The new device is part of Juniper's Simply Connected portfolio of products.

The company said the AP is capable of supporting more than 100 wireless clients. For peak data throughput, however, such as for multimedia data, it recommends a network design that supports 25 clients per AP.

One new feature is a potential for reduced energy consumption. The WLA532 can save about 10 percent on idle links by exploiting an auto power-off feature integrated into power over Ethernet (PoE) delivery. That tweak to the AP adheres to energy efficiency specifications set in the IEEE standard, 802.3az.

The AP provides visibility into wireless network interference through a built-in spectrum analysis feature. This allows the IT person to remove or work around sources of interference that can impair network performance. The design of the antennas within the unit accommodates load balancing across 2.4 and 5 GHz radios that may be in use in the environment.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, a Juniper customer in Massachusetts, said it expects to find the company's newest AP effective for keeping up with wireless demand on campus. "The decision to migrate to a campus-wide WLA532 deployment ... made complete sense having already benefited from Juniper's switching and routing solutions," said Sean O'Connor, assistant CIO.

The WLA532 is priced at $1,095.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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