New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

davidvan
Meraki Alumni (Retired)

New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Hi Community,

 

We just released a brand new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 Meraki access point: MR44.

 

It will provide an excellent option for office, school, hospital, retail, and hotel use-cases looking to provide modern high-performance Wi-Fi 6 but don't quite have the density that requires MR46 or MR56.


Highlights of MR44 below:

 

  • 2.4GHz: 2 x 2 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) with two spatial streams
  • 5GHz: 4 x 4 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) with four spatial streams
  • Power over Ethernet: 42.5 - 57 V (802.3at) or 37 - 57 V (802.3af) - low power mode
  • 3 Gbps aggregate frame rate (with concurrent 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz radios)
  • 100/1000/2.5G BASE-T Ethernet

Screen Shot 2020-11-02 at 5.31.58 PM.png

23 REPLIES 23
KarstenI
Head in the Cloud

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Based on the Specs, it seems that the 2*2 mode for 2.4GHz is the only "restriction" compared to the MR46. Is that really all the difference?

AnythingHosted
Building a reputation

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

This will likely be my upgrade path for the home office if that's the case.

 

We were thinking MR36 but this a great middle ground price wise with the MR46.

KarstenI
Head in the Cloud

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Yes, with a list price directly between MR36 and MR46, this AP could be the perfect "general use" AP.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Do you think we are likely to see widespread client adoption of 4x4 in the 5Ghz space?

 

After all the preceding years when it didn't happen, I feel pretty down on spending money on 4x4 capability.

KarstenI
Head in the Cloud

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Actually, I am only aware of *one* Asus device doing 4SS. But lots of devices do 3SS and I like to have that supported. That's a reason I typically suggest my clients buy a 4*4:4 AP when allowed by the budget. 

But in reality, I do not think that the average user (even with a 3SS notebook) will notice a difference between MR36/46.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

> But lots of devices do 3SS

 

Like maybe 0.1% of the devices out there?  I have tried to buy a business notebook in the past with 3x3 support.  Almost impossible to find one because of the big impact it has on battery life.

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

I have traditionally pitched MR3x series APs for guest WiFi, MR4x series for corporate WiFi, and MR5x series for dense deployments.

 

I'm feeling there is not much point in the MR4x series any more.  From a users perspective, there is pretty much no difference, mostly due to the lack of hardware that can use the extra capabilities.  Sure you should get better multi-path performance - but I can simply put in more MR3x series APs since they are cheaper, and more APs usually wins that battle.

 

I'm thinking of changing to only pitching the MR36 and MR56 now.

KarstenI
Head in the Cloud

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

I have a lot of Mac users ... 😉 Perhaps my picture of the world is slightly (or heavily?) biased ...

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

>I have a lot of Mac users ... 

 

Good call.  I work across the commercial sector, and only see Mac's in the design shops.  They make up such a small number of the clients I see they don't tend to register as a consideration.

GIdenJoe
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

I realise MU-MIMO wasn't a success in 802.11ac but if it gets more traction in ax then the benefit of 4x4 or 8x8 would be noticable in high density scenario's right?

PhilipDAth
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Correct.

Bruce
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Yep MU-MIMO should mean we can make better use of those 4x4 and 8x8 access points. But I’ve seen articles that suggest the benefit of it when devices are in motion is limited, as is when the devices are too close together - both because it’s hard to create the ‘beam’ that the technology relies on. So I guess time and real world experience is going to show us whether it’s any good.

Bruce
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

@davidvan Out of interest are these supported as a gateway for the Meraki Sensor (MT) devices? It's not on the MT install guides, but I assume we're waiting for the documentation to catch up?

davidvan
Meraki Alumni (Retired)

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

@Bruce Good question. MR44 will eventually be supported via firmware upgrade. Specifics should be coming out soon.

jbright
Getting noticed

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Now Cisco Meraki needs to release a cost effective Layer 2 Mgig capable switch to go along with the new APs. It's difficult to convince customers that they need Mgig capable APs and the pricey Mgig capable MS3XX switches. 

KarstenI
Head in the Cloud

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point


@jbright wrote:

Now Cisco Meraki needs to release a cost effective Layer 2 Mgig capable switch to go along with the new APs. It's difficult to convince customers that they need Mgig capable APs and the pricey Mgig capable MS3XX switches. 


Have you *ever* seen a 1Gig interface to an AP being saturated for longer than two seconds or even at all?

 

Having said that, I also want this switch; preferred as an 8- or 12 port device. 🙂

cmr
Kind of a big deal
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Do you mean like this....

 

MS325-8FP

 

We live in hope 😎

GIdenJoe
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

@davidvan 

I would also like to petition for a MR36E model with associated antenna types or partner that provides antennas for it.

The reason is that alot of warehouse/production use cases with high ceilings and narrow aisles need external antennas to reduce the amount of AP's needed and channels and roaming etc.

 

However if you need to sell a MR42E/MR46E as a minimum for that it is a hard sell.

 

Example: you have a long aisle 70-100 meters with a not so high ceiling and only a wall at the end of the aisle.

It is at this time cheaper to get 2 to 3 MR36 with license than 1 MR46E with MA-ANT-3-F6.
However these AP's aren't used that much since you have to physically be in the row to roam to those AP's and you are easy to get stuck on one AP like this.

The only differentiator in this case is fewer AP's to cable uplink and monitor which still can convince customers to go for the more expense AP with narrow patch antenna.

JohnD
Getting noticed

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

It’s worth remembering that 4x4 is important for beamforming too.... Beamforming requires using a pair of spatial streams to transmit the same signal with a phase offset. A 2x2 AP can only beamform in 1x1:1 mode, and considering most WiFi 6 clients are 2ss, IMO the 4x4 AP is the sweet spot.

GIdenJoe
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Well I have yet to see a barcode scanner that supports Wi-Fi 6.

The most modern scanners now have 2x2 radios and don't need extremely high datarates, so I'd rather have cheaper AP's that do good beamforming with only 1ss but using MRC towards scanners.

And if you do need the 2ss with beamforming the MR42 would be more logical as it does 3x3:3.  In this case you could use 2ss and use the third antenna to assist in the beamforming.

 

IMO it's incorrect to refer to it as 1x1:1 mode, since beamforming needs at least two antennas.  It's better to just refer to it as being 1ss.

IanH
Getting noticed

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

Hi

 

I have a customer who is potentially looking at mass deployment of the MR42 model.

 

I can see the differences between the 3x3x3 of the MR42 and the 2.4GHz: 2 x 2 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) with two spatial streams  //  5GHz: 4 x 4 multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) with four spatial streams of the MR44.

 

Naturally we'd want to get the customer looking at WIFI 6 Models moving forward, however i'm not really sure what the upgrade path for future proofing an environment is for current or proposed MR42 estates.

 

What gotchas should i be looking at, i can see that there is potentially detail around Apple users on 3x3x3, but unsure what that means...

 

Is the MR44 an upgrade path for the MR42 and are there any issues and qualifying details i'd need to go through?

 

Or should the MR46 be the upgrade path?

 

Thanks

 

Bruce
Kind of a big deal

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

@IanH, both the MR44 and MR46 are upgrade paths for the MR42. As a new deployment I’d definitely be looking at either of these two instead of the MR42. The main advantage is obviously that the new models are Wifi6. The benefit you see from Wifi6 will become more apparent over time as Wifi6 client devices become more common, and so you’ll get better use of the RF spectrum -ultimately better throughput on the devices. 

Whether you go with the MR44 or MR46 really depends on requirements, and budget. More often than not the 5GHz spectrum is the focus of Wifi now, and in this respect the APs are pretty much identical. The differences are in the 2.4GHz space - the MR44 only being 2x2:2 as you note. So it depends how you intend to use this spectrum. If you’re going to use it for IoT type devices, low density, low throughput, or guest access where you’re not overly concerned with speed and density then the MR44 will likely be fine. If however you want to use 2.4GHz for something more robust (e.g. corporate wifi) then you will probably want to consider the MR46.

IanH
Getting noticed

Re: New MR44 Wi-Fi 6 access point

@Bruce that's a really useful response, thank you !

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