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?