Wi-Fi Market Riddles: “Cheap” vendors are not that cheap

Ok, how many times have you seen small deployments based on T2/T3 vendors such as D-Link, Ubiquiti, Mikrotik or EnGenius? In most cases people choose them for simple installation/configuration (RF Design? What is RF design?) and attractive prices …until recently, that is. Here’s a couple of announcements from my RSS feed (from a site I highly recommend), that I did not have time to read …until recently that is.

W00t? Now, of course, these are 3×3:3 802.11ac APs, but I know some Cisco/Aruba/Motorola 802.11ac APs (2×2 though) that are around $400-$500 RRP. Of course, in case of Cisco/Aruba, there’s also a hidden cost of controller (Independent/Instant APs cost nearly 2x more). And Motorola’s are ‘Express‘ version (up to 25 APs can work together w/o controller, but they are not available in some regions). But anyway, seeing such situations is very interesting.

Which one would you choose?

  • Will you go for a more expensive 3×3:3 AP from a Tier3 vendor instead of 2×2:2 AP from a Tier1 one?
  • Will you go for a similarly priced 3×3:3 AP from a Tier3 vendor instead of 2×2:2 AP from a Tier1 one?
  • What matters more: speeds, features, support, brand name?

My humble opinion is that the most important is the network designer/installer behind it all. What do you think?


4 thoughts on “Wi-Fi Market Riddles: “Cheap” vendors are not that cheap

Add yours

  1. Dollar for dollar; nothing compares to the cost and features of Ubiquity Ap’s. From Back Haul to customer premises they are hands down the most reliable and consistently affordable approach to any network. This is based on my background of working with most all radio manufacturers in the last 20 years.


  2. I agree with you, the designer is critical. Then vendor choice. You can break expensive kit through poor design just as easily as cheaper kit.


    1. And for the partner, the vendor choice is not just the hardware – the availability, warranty & support, and other channel matters, including relationship, matter as well. Unless you deal with off-the-shelf consumer products 🙂


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