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A Closer Look at Cisco's 3800 Series Access Points

by PivIT Global, on Jan 24, 2020 7:00:00 AM

Product Overview 

If you’re ready to go beyond preparing for the new standard, the Cisco Aironet 3800 Series is the ideal arrangement for you. For groups making ready for the new 802.11ac Wave 2 standard, this Cisco series provides the adaptability and flexibility you’ll need. 

For associations that depend on Wi-Fi to connect with clients, the 3800 Series is a hands-off item that is sufficiently shrewd in navigating choices dependent on end-gadget utilization. This atomization enables you to commit time to other pressing matters, secure in the knowledge that your Wi-Fi organization is performing to its highest potential. 

Cisco 3802e, 3802p nad 2802e

The Aironet 3800 Series is packed with features and capabilities that have made Cisco the industry leader, at a price point ideal for managing wireless growth, capacity, and coverage gaps in dense indoor environments. 



802.11ac Wave 2 support 

Provides a theoretical connection rate of up to 2.6 Gbps per radio—roughly double the rates offered by today’s high-end 802.11ac access points. 

High-density experience 

Best-in-class RF architecture that provides high-performance coverage for a high density of client devices, giving the end user a seamless wireless experience. Features include custom hardware in 802.11ac Wave 2 radios, Cisco CleanAir®, Cisco Client Link 4.0, cross-access point noise reduction, and an optimized client roaming experience. 

Multiuser Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO) technology 

Supporting three spatial streams, MU-MIMO enables access points to split spatial streams between client devices, to maximize throughput. 

Multigigabit Ethernet support 

Providing multiple gigabit uplink speeds of 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps in addition to 100-Mbps and 1-Gbps speeds. All speeds are supported on Category 5e cabling for an industry first, as well as 10GBASE-T(IEEE 802.3bz) cabling. 

Flexible Radio Assignment 

Allows the access points to intelligently determine the operating mode of serving radios based on the RF environment. The access points can operate in the following modes: 

●  2.4-GHz and 5-GHz mode: One radio serves clients in 2.4-GHz mode, while the other serves clients in 5-GHz mode  

●  Dual 5-GHz mode: Both radios inside the access point operate on the 5-GHz band, maximizing the benefits of 802.11ac Wave 2 and increasing client device capacity  

●  Wireless Security Monitoring and 5-GHz mode: One radio serves 5-GHz clients while the scans the full spectrum for attackers, RF interference, and rogue devices  

Dual 5-GHz radio support 

Enables both radios to operate in 5-GHz client serving mode, allowing an industry-leading 5.2 Gbps (2 x 2.6 Gbps) over-the-air speed while increasing client capacity 

Smart antenna connector 

An intelligent second physical antenna connector is included on 3800 Series models with an external antenna. This connector provides advanced network design flexibility for high-density and large open-area environments such as auditoriums, convention centers, libraries, cafeterias, and arenas/stadiums, allowing two sets of antennas to be connected and active on a single access point 

Modular architecture 

This is the second-generation modular architecture initially introduced by the 3600 Series access points. New side-mount connection allows companies to add and remove modules as needed without having to dismount the access point from the ceiling, further simplifying the customer’s time and dollars when performing network upgrades. 

The new side-mount architecture allows for additional flexibility in the form factor of a 3800 Series module, and in the choice of solutions with integrated or even external antennas of their own. 

We have doubled the amount of power available to 3800 Series modules from 9W to 18W, broadening the potential module applications and solutions. 

160-MHz channel support 

Supporting channels up to 160 MHz wide, Dynamic Bandwidth Selection allows the access point to dynamically switch between 20-, 40-, 80-, and 160-MHz channels, depending on the RF channel conditions, providing the industry’s best-performing wireless network. 

Zero-impact Application Visibility and Control* 

Uses dedicated hardware acceleration to improve the performance of line-speed applications such as Cisco Application Visibility and Control. 

Cisco Client Link 4.0 

Cisco Client Link 4.0 technology improves downlink performance to all mobile devices, including one-, two-, and three-spatial-stream devices on 802.11a/b/g/n/ac while improving battery life on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. 

Cisco Clean Air 160 MHz* 

Cisco CleanAir technology, enhanced with 160-MHz channel support, provides proactive, high-speed spectrum intelligence across 20-, 40-, 80-, and 160-MHz-wide channels to combat performance problems due to wireless interference. 

Cross-access point noise reduction 

A Cisco innovation that enables access points to intelligently collaborate in real time about RF conditions so that users connect with optimized signal quality and performance. 

Optimized access point roaming 

Helps ensure that client devices associate with the access point in their coverage range that offers the fastest data rate available. 

Automatic link aggregation (LAG) support 

802.3ad (Link Aggregation Control Protocol [LACP]) compliant, allowing both Ethernet interfaces to automatically enable LAG, increasing overall throughput to the access point. 

Cisco Mobility Express 

Flexible deployment mode through the Cisco Mobility Express solution is ideal for high density environments and can support up to 100 access points. Easy setup allows the 3800 Series access points to be deployed on networks without a physical controller. 

Apple Features 

Apple and Cisco have responded to this challenge by partnering to create an optimal mobile experience for iOS devices on corporate networks based on Cisco® technologies. Specifically, using new features in iOS 10 in combination with the latest software and hardware from Cisco, businesses can now more effectively use their network infrastructure to deliver an enhanced user experience across all business applications. 

At the center of the collaboration is a unique handshake between Cisco WLAN and Apple devices. This handshake enables Cisco WLAN to provide an optimal Wi-Fi roaming experience to Apple devices. Additionally, Cisco WLAN trusts Apple devices and gives priority treatment for business-critical applications specified by the Apple device. 


802.11ac Wave 2 and beyond 

The Aironet 3800 Series extends 802.11ac speed and features to a new generation of smartphones, tablets, and high-performance laptops, providing a greater end-user experience. Whether your project involves wholesale changes to your current wireless network or upgrading your legacy Wi-Fi deployments (802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wave 1 deployments), the Aironet 3800 Series can handle the job. 

The Aironet 3800 Series supports 802.11ac Wave 2, providing a theoretical connection rate of up to 5.2 Gbps—that’s roughly four times the rate offered by today’s high-end 802.11ac access points. The boost helps you stay ahead of the performance and bandwidth expectations of today’s mobile worker, who generally requires multiple Wi-Fi devices rather than one. As such, users are adding proportionally larger traffic loads to the wireless LAN, which has outpaced Ethernet as the default enterprise access network. 

Cisco DNA Support 

Pairing the 3800 Series access points with the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA™) allows for a total network transformation. Cisco DNA allows you to truly understand your network with real-time analytics, quickly detect and contain security threats, and easily provide networkwide consistency through automation and virtualization. By decoupling network functions from the hardware, you can build and manage your entire wired and wireless network from a single user interface. 

Working together, the 3800 Series and Cisco DNA offer such features as: 

Cisco 3800 Features picture

  •    Flexible Radio Assignment 
  •     Cisco Connected Mobile Experiences
  •     Cisco High Density Experience
  •     Apple FastLane 
  •     Cisco Identity Services Engine
  •     And much more 

The result? Your network stays relevant, becomes digital-ready, and remains the lifeblood of your organization. 

High-Density Experience 

The 3800 Series also dynamically changes the radio settings based on the wireless environment. The access point will allow one of the radios to operate in Wireless Security Monitoring mode, allowing you to detect wireless security threats, interference and combat rogue access. This valuable information can be culled in an easy-to-understand matrix to inform you about your wireless users. Flexible Radio Assignment also allows you to convert a radio into Wireless Service Assurance mode, providing proactive health monitoring of the network. 

  •     Optimized access point roaming helps ensure that client devices associate with the access point in their coverage range that offers the fastest data rate available 
  •     CiscoClientLink 4.0 improves downlink performance to all mobile devices, including one-, two-, and three-spatial-stream devices on 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. At the same time, the technology improves battery life on mobile devices 
  •     CiscoCleanAir is technology enhanced with 160-MHz channel support. It delivers proactive, high-speed spectrum intelligence across 20-, 40-, and 80-, and 160-MHz-wide channels to combat performance problems due to wireless interference 
  •     MIMO equalization capabilities optimize uplink performance and reliability by reducing the impact of signal fade 
  •     Apple roaming features such as 802.11r Fast Transition, 802.11v BSS Transition, and Assisting Roaming enables Cisco WLAN to provide an optimal Wi-Fi roaming experience to Apple devices 

Modular Architecture 

The 3800 Series carries forward the modular architecture first introduced with the Aironet 3600 Series, providing unparalleled investment protection for forward-looking modular solutions. The 3800 Series delivers an enhanced second-generation modular architecture in the following ways: 

  •     Moving the module connection from the bottom to the side of the access point. This allows for easier addition and removal of a module without having to dismount the access point and also allows for flexibility in module design with respect to size and appropriate antenna placement.
  •     Increasing the power available to a module to 18W, providing additional flexibility for future module solutions.
  •     The Cisco Aironet Developer Platform framework works in tandem with the Aironet 3800 Series as the perfect solution, allowing your network to work for you. Modularity brings intent-based networking to the edge, customizing your ability to tackle new use cases and emerging technology standards, so that your deployments are ready for the future. The Cisco Aironet Developer Platform program transforms the access point into a powerful development platform for mobility and IoT convergence. 
  •     The Cisco Beacon Point Module is the virtual beacon solution that is leading the way in the indoor location-based services space. Cisco technology brings both easy deployment and superior location accuracy to the industry. All it takes to move a virtual beacon is a mouse click and technologies that can identify assets from 1 to 3 meters away. The Cisco Beacon Point Module is the perfect add-on to augment your Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Point and will strengthen your wireless network. This solution is well suited to industries such as retail (properly engage customers), healthcare (accurately track assets), and offices (optimize workspaces). 

As wireless LAN continues to grow as the dominant method of connecting to private and public networks, the access point becomes a perfect integration point into an enterprise corporate network or carrier service network for a wide variety of solutions. Companies can use a single Ethernet cable drop from their wired network to provide high-speed network access and also typically for Power over Ethernet (PoE) to the access point and solutions that are integrated with and interconnected through the 3800 Series access points. 

Adaptability. Flexibility. See how the Cisco Aironet 3800 Series can elevate your Wi-Fi organization to perform to its highest potential.

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