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Wi-Fi Range Demystified

Companion Guide
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Across Down
1. Original band of frequencies 25. One-million cycles per 2. When the signal is scattered 17. Reduction in signal passing
9. When a signal changes second 3. Splits one band into many through objects
direction 26. Amount of data sent 4. When the signal becomes 20. 109 Hz
11. Type of antenna resembling in a given time bent 22. Opposite of receiver
a flashlight 27. Pipe diameter 5. dB is the abreviation 23. Xirrus language
12. Ratio of signal to noise 31. An Isotropic antenna 6. Manages addressing and 24. When the signal reflects back
14. Highest performing access 32. Path for signals protocol information 25. To blend data into a carrier
device 33. Only Wi-Fi Power Play 7. Receive/send radio signal signal
16. Total area of the radio 35. Receive Signal Strength 8. Occurs when signalls bounce 28. Boost power, voltage or
18. Contiguous frequencies Indicator 10. Opposite of transmitter current of a signal
19. Maximum distance between 36. Antenna pattern resembling 13. Speed of light 29. Shperical radiation pattern
two radios a donut 15. Multiple antennas to improve 30. Conveys data between points
21. Rate at which a repeating 37. Institute of engineers rate and range 34. Another word for
event occurs 38. Circuitry to interpret and amplification
execute
Wi-Fi Range Demystified

Contents
Introduction................................................................................ 3

Defining Range and Coverage....................................................... 3

Range Basics.............................................................................. 4

Antenna Design........................................................................... 5

Range and Coverage.................................................................... 6

Range Limiting Factors................................................................. 6

Multipath.................................................................................... 7

Attenuation................................................................................. 8

Hidden Node............................................................................... 8

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR).......................................................... 9

Range Versus Capacity............................................................... 10

802.11n Technology.................................................................. 11

Recommendations..................................................................... 12

Leading Architecture.................................................................. 13

About Xirrus.............................................................................. 13

2 ©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Companion Guide

Introduction
Distance limitations and data rates are fully understood with wired Ethernet networks due to the utilization of
specific transmitter/receiver standards and a controlled media, the wire. However, the distance limitations and
data rates with Wi-Fi networks are more difficult to calculate due to varying data rates, capacity, interference, etc.
This document will walk you through some basic Wi-Fi principles such as antenna design, gain, path loss, frame
format, multipath, etc. to enable you to deploy a high performing Wi-Fi network for your organization.

Defining Range and Coverage


Before the RF signal leaves the antenna, a digital signal We define range as “the maximum distance at which
processor converts the data stream into complex two radios can operate and maintain a connection.”
symbols that carry it over the air as it is transmitted. Therefore we can use simple geometry to determine
From there the signal goes into a radio transceiver the coverage area of an Access Point using the
that translates those symbols to a specific carrier formula to determine the area of a circle (π)r2 where
frequency. In the case of Wi-Fi, it is either the 2.4 GHz the radius (r) is the range of the Wi-Fi signal. The
(for 802.11b/g) or 5 GHz (802.11a) frequency ranges. coverage area of an Access Point is often referred to
Those signals then pass through a power amplifier on as a cell and these terms will be used interchangeable
the way out of the transmitter’s antenna. The antenna throughout guide.
on the other end of the signal will pass that received
signal down to a low noise amplifier of the receiver. For example, the expected coverage area of a Wi-Fi
This completes the radio connection between the two device with a 300’ operating range (r), would yield a
ends of a radio link. 280,000 square foot coverage area.

Between the two antennas, information will travel on


the radio waves at the speed of light as it moves
from transmitter to receiver. Radio frequency signal is
modulated and encoded with data and a wavelength.

Basic Wi-Fi Radio Link

Radio Module Radio Wave (Travels at the speed of light, c) Radio Module

Low Noise Wavelength Low Noise


Baseband Radio Amplifier Amplifier Radio Baseband
Radio frequency signal is modulated and encoded
Power Amp with data. Wavelength is represented by λ. Power Amp

©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 3


Link Formulas
RF Power Dissipation Gain and Transmit Power
PT
PR ~ Signal After

Amplitude
Gain
d2
In Free Space, Power varies inversely with the square of the distance
between two points. Signal Prior
Signal Strength (RSSI) to Gain
2
λ
PR = PT G T GR
4πd PR—Power at the Receiver
PT—Power at the Transmitter
Expected Free Space Signal Strength at the Receiver taking Transmit Power,
Antenna Gain, Receiver Gain, Distance, and Frequency into account. GT—Antenna Gain of the Transmitter
Path Loss GR—Antenna Gain of the Receiver

PathLoss dB = 20 log 4π + 10 n log d


λ—Wavelength (speed of light/frequency)

λ π—Ratio of a Circle’s Circumference to its


Diameter, approximately 3.14
Expected Signal Loss between a Transmitter and a Receiver using an appropriate
Path Loss Exponent, n, for the environment. (See Path Loss Exponent chart). d—Distance in Meters

Link Budget L R—Receiver Loss including Insertion Loss,


Noise Figure, etc.

PR = PT + G T− PathLoss + G R− L R
Expected Signal available in an interference-free environment for a given
Transmit Power, Antenna Gain, Path Loss, and Receiver Loss. (See SNR).

Range Basics
It is important to understand that range is a function between the transmitter and receiver. The relative
strength of that signal at the receiver is measured
of data rate or simply put, the higher the data rate, the
as the Received Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI).
shorter the range. In order to understand what goes into
determining the range of an Access Point, a few terms RSSI is normally expressed in dBm or as a numerical
need to be defined and a basic understanding of the percentage. For clarification purposes, a dB (Decibel)
mathematics that goes into determining the distance by is a measure of the ratio between two quantities while
which a radio signal will travel needs to be provided. dBm is a Decibel with respect to milliwatts of power.
An overall Link Budget can be defined by taking into
In an open environment, or what is referred to as Free account all the gains and losses of a signal as it moves
Space, Power varies inversely with the square of the from a transmitter to a receiver.
distance between two points (the receiver and the
transmitter). The stronger the Transmit Power, the Range and Coverage
higher the signal strength or Amplitude. Antenna Gain
also increases Amplitude and will be further discussed
in a subsequent section of this chapter. Range (Distance)
area = πr 2
Range—Maximum Distance between two radios
While Gain and Power increase the distance a wireless for which a connection can be maintained. r

signal can travel, the expected signal loss (Path Loss) Coverage—The total area in which all radios can
maintain a connection to the AP.
between the transmitter and a receiver reduces it. Path Example: If the range of a cell is 300ft then the
Coverage Area
Loss is the reduction in signal strength that a signal coverage area = 3.14 * (300)2 = 282,600sqft.

experiences as it travels through the air or through objects

4 ©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Antenna Design
Antennas play a key role in determining the amount passive Gain is achieved by focusing the energy of
of range and coverage area of a Wi-Fi network so let’s the antenna in a particular direction. Gain is usually
start with a short discussion on the physical layer of expressed as a ratio in dB’s. It is the log of the ratio
the Wi-Fi connection with an overview on antennas. of the powers. For example, a typical dipole antenna
will have about 2 dbi, (i = isotropic) of Gain.
An Isotropic antenna has a radiation pattern of a
perfect sphere. Imagine a device that has a power One of the advantages of a dipole, or any type of
density equal in all directions. The Isotropic pattern directional antenna, is greater antenna Gain; this is a
forms the basis from which all other antennas are result of the RF energy pattern being focused vs. an
measured. One of the simplest antenna designs is isotropic design. Other types of antennas are more
the dipole, like the simple whip antenna on most directional in design taking their radiated energy and
cars. Where an Isotropic antenna pattern is spherical, squeezing it into a very narrow pattern.
the dipole has a radiation pattern of a torrid (like a A good analogy here is to think of the isotropic
donut). The largest amount of energy is being radiated antenna like a light bulb radiating energy equally
perpendicular to the antenna, in most cases this is in all directions, and the directional antenna like a
along the horizontal plane. You can visualize this by flash light with the light focused in one direction –
thinking of a pebble dropped into a calm pond, the the energy of the directional antenna is concentrated
wave patters extend from the center in all directions in a particular direction, enabling the beam to travel
along a two dimensional plane. much farther than an isotropic antenna.
Gain (also known as Amplification) is critical to Antenna Gain is bi-directional so it will amplify the
improving the range of an antenna and therefore signal as it is being transmitted and as it is received.
plays a critical part in determining (or extending) the So if a directional antenna is providing 6db Gain on
range of a Wi-Fi network. Gain refers to an increase transmit, it will also increase received sensitivity an
of the Amplitude or Signal Strength and comes in two equal amount so the antenna design of the Wi-Fi
forms; active and passive. Active Gain refers to an Access Point plays a critical role in the amount of
increase in power that is applied to the antenna where range (coverage) delivered.

Antenna Basics

Isotropic Dipole High Gain, Directional High Gain, Directional


Multi-sector Array

0dBi 2.2dBi 6dBi 6dBi per sector


Example: Light Bulb Example: Flashlight Example: Multiple Flashlights

Gl = Pdirectional
Power Density (directional Antenna)
Gain =
Power Density of Isotropic Antenna Pisotropic

©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 5


Range and Coverage
The vast majority of Access Point deployments today consist of products that use omni-directional antennas. For
the most part, this type of deployment has served the market well for home use and light use in the enterprise
and in public-access types of locations like airports and coffee shops. But with the increase in Wi-Fi users and
the associated number of Access Points to support them, the omni-directional antenna becomes its own worst
enemy in the battle to address improved range performance.

No matter what type of Access Point is used, their respective use of an omni-direction antenna that blasts RF
energy in all directions becomes a barrier to the performance needed for today’s Wi-Fi networks. This problem
consists of a number of issues that all limit high-performance deployments: cell size, channel reuse, hidden
nodes and multi-path.

As we’ve discussed, Omni-directional antennas transmit and receive RF energy in all directions. Directional or
sectored antennas focus RF energy into a single direction, thereby intensifying the strength of the signal (Gain)
that is transmitted and increase the receiver sensitivity for traffic coming from the clients. Since directional
antennas offer more Gain, they have the ability to transmit further and “listen better” to the signals of wireless
stations (clients) therefore increasing the range and coverage of the Access Point in a given direction.

The drawback of a directional high-gain antenna is that it does not cover the same area as a standard dipole
antenna. The solution here is to arrange the directional antennas in a circular pattern and create an array
of antennas. This provides the 360 degrees of coverage of a traditional dipole antenna, yet offers the range
advantages of a directional antenna. Some sectored antenna systems have multiple radios and multiple antennas
that allow for 360 degrees of increased coverage.

Range Limiting Factors


Gain and antenna design can be used to increase
the range of a Wi-Fi Access Point. We also mentioned Devices in the 2.4GHz Band
that physical and environmental factors will impact
that signal, this section will examine several of those Bluetooth Devices
factors.
HomeRF
802.11b/g uses the 2.4GHz ISM band. Many other Cordless Devices
devices also operate in the 2.4GHz ISM band and Microwave Ovens
interference causes data to be garbled forcing X10 Wireless Video Cameras
packets to be re-transmitted. This causes reduced
HAM Radio Operators
end-user throughput and increased latency of data
traversing the Wi-Fi network.

Conversely, the 5 GHz band for 802.11a is relatively


clean from interfering devices. 802.11a is also
deemed as the primary user of the spectrum. This
disallows other types of wireless data devices in this
band. Since the 2.4 GHz band is more susceptible
to interference, it is highly recommended to migrate
towards an 802.11a environment.

6 ©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Multipath
Omni-directional antennas, and to a lesser extent
directional antennas generate vast amounts of RF Signal Changes
energy that is transmitted into the Wi-Fi environment.
Multipath occurs when signals bounce off multiple Reflection
objects in the environment and are reflected back to
the receiver.

Scattering
Multipath Interference

Refraction

Diffraction

The effect is that weaker “copies” of the original


signal arrive slightly later than the primary signal.
This causes inter-symbol interference and gets worse Reflection is simply when the signal is reflected back
as the “delay spread”, or time between the reception towards the transmitter. Scattering occurs when
of the primary signal and secondary signal increases. the signal is scattered back towards the transmitter
The end result is corrupt packets that must be re- into multiple new signals. Refraction occurs when
transmitted, lowering network performance. the signal is bent as it passes through an object
and Diffraction happens when the signal changes
direction as it passes around an object.
Multipath Time Delay
In some cases, a strong enough signal received out of
Primary Desired Signal phase can essentially create a null, a spot where no
signal is available. Yet only a few feet away you may
Time have a strong signal. This is called a multipath null.

One important note here is the benefit of directional


antennas in limiting multipath interference. As
Secondary Reflected Signal
previously discussed, omni-directional Access Points
inherently create large amounts of performance-
Any type of reflected signal that can be additive or robbing multipath. With a directional antenna, this
destructive to the original signal is identified as multipath problem is greatly reduced because RF energy is
interference. As the signal strikes an objective, it can not blindly transmitted in all directions. RF signals
react in several ways creating reflection, scattering, are transmitted in the direction of the wireless client
refraction, diffraction or all of the above. within a given sector

©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 7


Attenuation
RF signal strength is reduced as it passes through various Cubical walls offer relatively low attenuation, in the
materials. This effect is referred to as Attenuation. As 2 db range, while concrete and brick walls will cause
more Attenuation is applied to a signal, its effective higher attenuation levels reducing the range of an
range will be reduced. The amount of Attenuation will Access Point. It is extremely important to consider
vary greatly based on the composition of the material not just the type of obstruction, but how many
the RF signal is passing through. obstructions the RF signal must pass through when
designing a Wi-Fi network.

Attenuation Effects A directional antenna offers an advantage over omni-


directional antennas when it comes to attenuation as
Attenuation
they are better able to penetrate different materials
than traditional dipole antennas.
The signal strength is reduced as it passes through an object.

Material Typical Attenuation (Loss) @ 5GHz


The bottom line to remember is that antenna selection
Cubical Wall 2dB and the physical environment of the facility have the
Drywall or Sheetrock 3dB biggest impact on range and coverage performance
Brick Concrete or Block Wall 15dB of an Access Point. However, it is important to note
Elevator Shaft 10dB these are not the only factors involved; the 802.11
Glass or Window 3dB
specification in and of itself creates issues that
Concrete Floor 11dB
impact the overall performance of the Wi-Fi network.

Hidden Node
The 802.11 specification operates under a “collision commonly used to eliminate a hidden node issue is to
avoidance” schema whereas clients must wait for the reduce the range of the Access Point by decreasing the
medium to be free before making a transmission. This transmit power. By reducing an Access Point’s range, it
basic premise creates a situation where two clients increases the probability that all clients within the cell
within a Wi-Fi cell (coverage area of the Access Point) will hear each other; but greatly increases the number
are within range of the Access Point, but out of range of Access Points needed within the deployment.
of each other. A wireless station on one edge of a cell
may not hear a station on the other side of the cell. The use of a directional antenna over an omni-
Because of this, wireless stations will not be able directional antenna will also eliminate the issue of
to hear when the other is transmitting; incorrectly Hidden Nodes because all wireless stations (clients)
assuming the air is idle and begin to transmit its own in a given RF sector are associated to the same
packets. This will cause the two transmissions to Access Point; so they are geometrically within the
collide requiring both stations to re-transmit greatly same sector. Since the clients operate in the same
reducing the effective bandwidth within the cell. sector, the hidden node problem is eliminated as all
stations are able to hear each other and correctly
A protection mechanism exists with in the 802.11 determine when the air is busy or idle. This eliminates
standard called CTS-RTS that can help address this the performance-robbing issues found with legacy
issue requiring each client to ask for permission from omni-directional Access Points and the use of the
the Access Point before transmitting. But the use of CTS-RTS protocol. It also has the added benefit of not
this protocol creates overhead on the network and will increasing the number of Access Points or reducing
reduce overall performance by 30%. Another method their respective coverage areas.

8 ©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Hidden Node Problem

Sectored Approach Eliminates Hidden Nodes

Station 1 Station 2

Note: Station 1 and Station 2 cannot hear each other’s transmissions in the omni-directional antenna example (above
left) whereas stations can hear each other in the directional (sectored) antenna approach.

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR)


The range of an Access Point is a function of data
rate. The notion that higher data rates do not appear Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR)
to “travel” as far as the lower data rates is a function
of the Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR) and not because
Amplitude (Strength)

the Access Point and the client can’t necessarily Desired


signal The higher the signal is
“hear” each other. above the noise, the
better the signal
SNR is the ratio of the desired signal to that of all to noise ratio

other noise and interference as seen by a receiver. Noise

SNR is important as it determines which data rates


can be correctly decoded in a wireless link. It is
expressed in db as a ratio. Frequency

The received signal, the noise level, (or noise floor) and Signal
SNR = Noise
with these two values, the SNR can be determined. As
data rates increase from 6 Mbps to 54 Mbps, more
complex modulation and encoding methods are used SNR(db) = Signal(dBm) – Noise(dBm)
that require a higher SNR to properly decode the signal. Modulation Wireless Minimum
and Encoding Data Rate Required
Using a 54 megabits per second signal requires 802.11a (Mbps) SNR (dB)
25 DB of SNR – which means the signal will not be BPSK 1/2 6 8

properly decoded at greater distances – because as BPSK 3/4 9 9


QPSK 1/2 12 11
the signal moves further from the source, a greater
QPSK 3/4 18 13
amount of path loss occurs (the signal is attenuated).
16-QAM 1/2 24 16
Lower data rate transmissions, can be more easily
16-QAM 3/4 36 20
decoded and as a result appear to “travel” farther.
64-QAM 2/3 48 24
As an example in an outdoor environment with just 64-QAM 3/4 54 25
free space loss, a 6 Mbps signal can actually be Note: Higher data rates cannot be transmitted at the same
Power as the less-complicated encoding of lower data rates.
decoded 7 times further away than a 54.

©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 9


Range Versus Capacity
Many of the initial Wi-Fi deployments focused on providing the maximum amount of coverage so the range of an
Access Point was a critical factor in the purchase process. While still important, range becomes less of an issue
as more clients connect to the network given the inherit bandwidth limitations of today’s Access Points. It is
important to realize that greater range is not always a positive thing. Sometimes it works against you depending
on your application and the number of users on the network. As you increase the range of an Access Point, the
coverage area increases and you will now be covering more users with a single device. As more users join the
network, they will all be vying for the finite amount of bandwidth available within that cell.

As the size of the cell increases, clients at the edge of the cell will be using lower data rates and therefore
consume more time on the wireless medium lowering the performance of all of the clients.

Here are a few simple rules to remember when deploying


a Wi-Fi network using omni-directional antennas: Range Versus Capacity
60
€€As omni-directional coverage increases, the 54
54 54 Data Rate Supported at Given Range
48 48 Maximum Users Supported at
number of potential covered users increases as 48 2Mbps TCP per User

802.11 Data Rate (Mbps)


well as the amount of capacity required 42
36
36

€€As the number of users increases, the available 30


24
24
capacity or effective bandwidth per user 18
18
decreases 12
12
9
6
6
2 1
€€The larger the omni-directional cell size, the 0
25 50 75 100 125 150 175 200 225 250 275 300
greater the chance that two stations will not Distance (ft)
hear each other’s transmissions creating a
More coverage = more users Hidden Node Problem
Hidden Node problem

€€A multi-sector, directional antenna approach can


Station 1 Station 2
help provide both range and capacity and can
also help mitigate hidden nodes

Directional antennas also help to alleviate the problems of cell capacity by focusing the RF energy in specific
sectors. In this way, greater distance can be attained along the defined sector without also associating with
stations outside the sector.

On the opposite end of the scale is the idea of shrinking cell sizes to increase capacity. First, shrinking the cell
size of an Access Point by lowering the transmit power does not lower the transmit power of the wireless stations
(clients) that are associated to it. Second, the client’s transmit power and receiver settings are not under the
control of the Access Point and do not change. By decreasing the transmit power of the Access Point, the overall
cell size shrinks only slightly so the real size of the Wi-Fi cell is not just the transmission range of the Access
Point. In fact, the real size of a Wi-Fi cell is the transmission range of the Access Point and the transmission
range of all the wireless clients in that cell.

Shrinking cells also creates additional interference issues and limits range. When two Access Points are placed
near each other on the same channel, they may not hear each other, but the clients that associate to those
Access Points may well interfere with stations on the adjacent cell and vice versa. Interfering stations are shown
in between the two Access Points.

10 ©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


802.11n Technology
Work on the 802.11n standard started in January of It is important to note the introduction of 802.11n
2004 when the IEEE announced that it had formed a will force organizations to review their entire wired
new Task Group (TGn) to develop the next amendment infrastructure as the increases in bandwidth from
to the 802.11 standard for wireless local area networks. 802.11n will create bottlenecks in other parts of the
The goal of the IEEE when work began on 802.11n was network. Equally important, MIMO signal processing
to obtain TCP throughputs in excess of 100 Mbps. will provide improvements in range even if it is only
present on one half of the link, i.e. the client or the
In order achieve this goal, changes to the physical Access Point.
and MAC layers of 802.11 standard would need to be
made. While 802.11n builds upon previous 802.11
standards, updates to the MAC layer were substantial 802.11 Comparison Table
as well as introducing MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple
Output) signal processing.

MIMO uses multiple transmitter and receiver


antennas and takes advantage of multipath
reflections to improve signal coherence that greatly
increases receiver sensitivity. This extra sensitivity
can be used for greater range or higher data rates.
The newly enhanced signal is the processed sum of
individual antennas. Signal processing eliminates
nulls and fading that any one antenna would see.
MIMO Signal Processing is sophisticated enough to MIMO Signal Processing
discern multiple spatial streams.
MIMO Processed Signal

Antenna 1 Signal
Spatial multiplexing transmits completely separate
data streams on different antennas (in the same
Attenuation
Antenna 2 Signal
Receiver
channel) that are recombined to produce new
802.11n data rates. Higher data rates are achieved
Antenna 3 Signal
by splitting the original data stream into separate
data streams. Each separate stream is transmitted Frequency Across Subcarriers

on a different antenna (in the same channel). MIMO


signal processing at the receiver can detect and
recover each stream. Streams are then recombined
which yields higher data rates.
Spatial Multiplexing

With changes to the 802.11 MAC and the use of Tx 1 Rx 1


MIMO signal processing, data rates can reach over
200Mbps and thus achieve the original IEEE objective Tx 2 Rx 2
Transmitter Receiver
for 802.11n. In addition to the increases in raw Data Stream
M M Data Stream

throughput, wireless networks using 802.11n will also


Tx N Rx M
see an increase in range and coverage but again, the
range and vs. capacity arguments still hold true.

©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 11


Recommendations
Today’s traditional Wi-Fi networks cannot keep pace with the trajectory of needed wireless capacity and coverage
for voice, video and data applications running over Wi-Fi. By combining a Wireless LAN Controller/Switch, up to
16 Integrated Access Points, Gigabit Ethernet Switch, Wi-Fi Firewall and Multi-Sector Antenna System into one
easy-to-manage device, Xirrus delivers the only long range, high performance Wi-Fi platform in the industry that
can effectively extend wired network capabilities to wireless – without compromise.

Setting up a large scale Wi-Fi network is very different than its wired cousin Ethernet. Given the fluid nature of
the wireless medium, coverage and performance can vary widely depending upon the environment. Most Access
Points use an omni-directional antenna to propagate their signals which limit their ability to adequately deliver
increased range.

To get the best range out of your Wi-Fi system are as follows:

€€Higher data antennas are obviously better with the exception being you don’t get the range of coverage
except with an array of antennas like in the Wi-Fi Array.

€€Spend as much time evaluating the Wi-Fi solutions in your notebooks, PDA’s, and other clients to look for
the best receivers, antennas, and radios.

€€Use 802.11a to reduce channel interference and to allow for more capacity.

€€Remember that repositioning your APs may make dramatic changes when you have multipath issues inside
complicated environments.

€€When mounting your Wi-Fi gear, the higher the location and the more obstruction and substances you get
out of the path of the radio waves the better off you are. Mounting it higher is better.

€€When you’re planning your solution be careful not to create cells that are so large that it covers too many
users, especially if they’re users with high demand. Range and capacity matters; be careful when you’re
designing your system; use simultaneous channels; using a Xirrus Array architecture that can deliver the
range and capacity needed for future needs.

12 ©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


Leading Architecture Xirrus Wi-Fi Array
Xirrus planned for the success of Wi-Fi by develop- Sectored
Sectored Antenna

ing an award-winning Wi-Fi architecture powerful


Antenna

Wi-Fi Sectored

enough to handle high-bandwidth applications today


Wi-Fi Antenna
Sectored Radio Radio
Antenna Wi-Fi
Radio Wi-Fi
Radio

and modular enough to be upgraded for future Multiple Wi-Fi Sectored


Wi-Fi
Radio

Wi-Fi Controller
Wi-Fi
Radio
Sectored
Antenna
Radios Produce
Antenna

enhancements. Wi-Fi
Radio
Wi-Fi
Radio

864Mbps of 50% Sector


Overlap
Bandwidth Wi-Fi
Radio
Wi-Fi
Radio

With the Wi-Fi Array, Xirrus delivers the only ‘Power Sectored
Antenna
Wi-Fi
Radio Wi-Fi
Sectored
Antenna

Play’ architecture in Wi-Fi networking with the most


Radio

Wi-Fi
Radio Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi Radio

bandwidth and coverage per cable drop in the Radio Sectored

High Gain
Sectored Antenna
Antenna

Directional
industry. Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays deliver up to 8x the Sectored
Antenna
Sectored
Antenna
Antennas
Redundant Gigabit Ethernet Uplinks Increase
bandwidth of a single access point and are compact, Range
easy-to-install, ceiling-mounted devices. No other
Ethernet
current-generation Wi-Fi technology can deliver the Switch

bandwidth or throughput of Xirrus Arrays because


they are limited to 2 radios producing only 108Mbps No other current-generation Wi-Fi technology can deliver
of shared bandwidth. the bandwidth or throughput of Xirrus Wi-Fi Arrays.

By integrating these key components: the Wi-Fi controller, Gigabit Ethernet Switch, Gigabit uplinks, multiple
access points, sectored antenna system, Wi-Fi stateful firewall and Wi-Fi threat sensor into a single device,
Xirrus Arrays are able to provide a centrally-managed platform that delivers unparalleled range, client capacity
and performance, along with better RF management and roaming for voice, video and data applications — all in
a single device that is fully upgradeable to 802.11n.

About Xirrus
Xirrus, Inc. is a privately held firm headquartered in Westlake Village, California. Founded by the same team that
created Xircom (acquired by Intel in 2001), Xirrus has developed the next generation in enterprise wireless LAN
architectures centered around the award-winning Array.

Backed by leading venture capital firms U.S. Venture Partners and August Capital, Xirrus brings a proven
management team and patented approach to delivering the performance, scalability and security needed to
deploy a true wireless extension of the wired Ethernet network capable of delivering Triple Play (voice, video,
data) enablement.

©2008 Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 13


Wi-Fi Range Demystified
Crossword Puzzle—Answer Key
1 2
B A S E B A N D
3 4 5
O R C D
6 7 8
F E F A A E M
9 10
D I F F R A C T I O N R C U
11
M R A T T D I R E C T I O N A L
A M E E C B T
12
C E R S N R E E I
13
T I N W I L P
14 15
I N A R R A Y V M A
16 17
C O V E R A G E V E I A T
18
N S P E C T R U M T H
L O T
19 20 21 22
R A N G E F R E Q U E N C Y T E
23
H N R N X
24 25 26
R M H Z T H R O U G H P U T A U I
E O T N A R
27 28 29
F D B A N D W I D T H S T R
30
L U M S S I I I
31
E L P O M N I D I R E C T I O N A L
32
C H A N N E L T G T N N
33
T T I X I R R U S N E
34 35
I E G F O A R S S I
36
O A I D I P O L E L
41 37
N I E E E I
38
N R C O N T R O L L E R

Across Down
1. Original band of frequencies 2. When the signal is scattered
9. When a signal changes direction 3. Splits one band into many
11. Type of antenna resembling 4. When the signal becomes bent
a flashlight 5. dB is the abreviation
12. Ratio of signal to noise 6. Manages addressing and protocol
14. Highest performing access device information
16. Total area of the radio 7. Receive/send radio signal
18. Contiguous frequencies 8. Occurs when signalls bounce
19. Maximum distance between 10. Opposite of transmitter
two radios 13. Speed of light
21. Rate at which a repeating event 15. Multiple antennas to improve rate
occurs and range
25. One-million cycles per second 17. Reduction in signal passing
26. Amount of data sent in a through objects
given time 20. 109 Hz
27. Pipe diameter 22. Opposite of receiver
31. An Isotropic antenna 23. Xirrus language
32. Path for signals 24. When the signal reflects back
33. Only Wi-Fi Power Play 25. To blend data into a carrier signal
35. Receive Signal Strength Indicator 28. Boost power, voltage or current
3 6. Antenna pattern resembling of a signal
a donut 29. Shperical radiation pattern
37. Institute of engineers 30. Conveys data between points
38. Circuitry to interpret and execute 34. Another word for amplification Xirrus, Inc.

www.xirrus.com
sales@xirrus.com

370 North Westlake Blvd. Suite 200


Westlake Village, California 91362, USA

1.800. 947. 7871 Toll Free in the US


+1. 805. 497. 0955 Corporate Office
+1. 805.497. 7871 Sales
+1 . 805.449. 1180 Fax

Copyright © 2008, Xirrus, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Xirrus and the Xirrus logo
are trademarks of Xirrus, Inc. All other trademarks belong to their respective
owners. Protected by patent #US D526,973 S. Other patents pending.