Friday, September 27, 2013

Surveying for Gigabit WiFi is no Fluke #WFD5

Fluke announced their new 802.11ac site survey capabilities with the latest version of AirMagnet Survey PRO at Wireless Field Day 5.

According to AirMagnet, the client cards they used to do the testing (Edimax & Trendnet) showed vast differences between the adapters, but there was no repeatable reason for why the testing was so different. 

Introduction to Fluke Networks Wi-Fi with Chia-Chee Kuan at WFD5 from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Fluke will be offering a free upgrade to the new 802.11ac software for Gold support customers, and AirMagnet Planner will have 802.11ac capabilities - but it will come after Survey PRO has been released to support 802.11ac. Beta testing of the Survey PRO is currently under way.

At the time of #WFD5 AirMagnet couldn't work in promiscuous mode with any 802.11ac adapters. There was no schedule that could be discussed in public, but it is a work in progress.

The RF coverage heat map is designed to show primary and secondary overlap of channel allocation. The heat map will show in yellow where the secondary channels overlap and this is where wireless speeds will fall back to slower data rates instead of the higher 802.11ac rates.

Fluke Networks Introduces Survey Pro with 802.11ac at Wireless Field Day 5 from Stephen Foskett on Vimeo.

Their AirMapper tool hasn't been updated for use on any 801.11ac phones/devices yet. Some 802.11ac phones are already available in AsiaPac and the UK, but none are for sale stateside yet. These new devices will be migrated into Airmapper soon.

The thing I found most interesting about their WFD5 presentation was the off the record presentation about their not-yet-released (but it is now) product called AirMagnet Spectrum ES. This application takes the user interface you know from the AirMagnet Spectrum XT application and brings it into the world of cellular Wi-Fi. 

I put together a playlist of all the demo videos they've uploaded to YouTube. It's well worth checking out. From what I can find, it seems the retail price for ES will be around $6k which is a veritable bargain compared to the average cellular testing tool which can cost $14K!