Reply to post: Re: Wi-Fi 6 represents the end of the idea of wiring desks for Ethernet

RTFM: Wireless Broadband Alliance squeezes out 40-page ode to the joy of Wi-Fi 6

Lee D Silver badge

Re: Wi-Fi 6 represents the end of the idea of wiring desks for Ethernet

The sorts of access points that can contain that - not only do they need (multi-)gigabit wiring to themselves, but they also have to mesh together with their neighbours well (which means you need a lot of them) and... they are not cheap. I can pay £600 for a single AP that would cover probably a "room" full of workstations (with maybe 50-100 devices, but range and coverage is the issue, not necessarily the sheer number of devices unless they are all pumping data 24/7).

Even then, it's not just a case of buying a hundred APs and lumping them in a building, you'll end up with worse wifi than 10 more expensive managed APs, properly sited.

Add on centralised/cloud management (a must, really, if you guys have any kind of MDM) and it suddenly becomes a lot more expensive than handing your electrician a 305m roll of Cat6 (about £50 worth) and saying "can you put that in the walls for us". Nobody deals in 100Mb any more, either.

If you have a hundred users on Wifi over two offices in a major city center - you're paying for decent, most likely meshed, managed wifi, probably Ubiquity, Meraki or similar. If you have blanket coverage and not just "the desk areas", then they're paying even more. And they had to pay someone to wire those points in with Cat6, too, or they'd be useless - plus PoE (either switches, or decent injectors with lots of power points around the place to power them up) and decent switches on the back-end to run them all properly.

By contrast I could probably pay a guy to wire an entire floor with double-Cat6 sockets to every desk for much less than even the points cost, let alone the controller and necessary PoE switches.

They've done it for the look of the thing, not to save costs. And they are able to because you don't make heavy use of the system. When you do, you're going to have a shock - involving an awfully expensive wifi upgrade. When my switches max out and can no longer supply 48, PoE powered managed ports at Gigabit each, over a fibre 10Gb backend, I might have to pay a couple of grand to swap it out for an equivalent 10Gb switch with 40Gb fibre ports and give everyone an instant free upgrade.

Fact is, your wifi wouldn't operate at all well without that exact switch sitting in a cupboard somewhere anyway... you've just bought the Wifi on top as a convenience and for the look of the thing.

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