Yeah- that’s right. There IS a wall plate AP space. And it’s pretty friggin’ cool.
We’ll get to Meru in a bit..
A little more than a year ago, I celebrated Ruckus’ ZoneFlex 7055 wall plate AP announcement right here on this blog. I really like this form factor, as it enables the leveraging of existing network wiring in really cool new ways. As I type this from my hotel at Interop, I have the following view to my immediate left:
Though this Teleadapt TA-6200 does have a certain style, it’s also a bit of a relic. I’m guessing it doesn’t see much action on that RJ-45, and if we follow it back to the wall, we can picture a wall plate AP in it’s place- serving up high-speed Wi-Fi while still affording the same seldom-used LAN capability. And, THEhotel wouldn’t have to run any more wire to get there. Sweet.
I’m aware of wall plate APs from Ruckus, Aruba, Motorola, recently Cisco, and this little gem from out in left field. You have to read the fine print to find the differences, and there very much are differences in capabilities from radio performance to supported features.
Which brings us back to Meru Networks, and the AP122. This little guy is the industry’s first dual-band 11ac wall plate AP.
Meru rightfully positions this unit as a trade off- it’s no rocket ship at 2×2, but you get decent performance on standard PoE and a lot of bang for the sub-$600 buck.
Hopefully, other vendors will also up their wall plate AP game and continue with near-commodity pricing on a form factor that can really be transformative on existing cable plants.
The only bummer to the Meru AP122 story? Like everything else in WLAN-land, lack of interoperability means it’s only available to Meru customers.
WSJ Market Watch PR here.