Connect802 is a nationwide wireless network equipment reseller providing system design consulting, equipment configuration, and installation services.

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Understanding Wireless LAN Switching
for Wi-Fi Wireless LAN Centralized Control and Management

Connect802 can help with the selection and system design for many manufacturer's wireless LAN switch equipment. We are also an authorized, value-added reseller for a number of major manufacturer's products.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to call us today! We'll be happy to provide you with any technical explanation that you need to help you assure a successful wireless networking deployment.


Access Points and Wireless LAN Switching


The Difference Between Stand-Alone Access Point Systems
and Wireless LAN Switching
Legacy Hand-Off Behavior Compared
to Preemptive Roaming
  • The mobile device (position 1) is going to move to the right towards Access Point "B"
  • Notice that the coverage area for Access Point extends to A' and the coverage area for Access Point B extends to B'
  • The point where the signal is equal from A and B (position 2) is the ideal place to change-over from one Access Point to the other.
  • The mobile device, however, will wait until it reaches the edge of the coverage area (position 3) before it changes its association, and that means the device waits until it's in the lowest bit-rate zone before a hand-off occurs.
  • Preemptive Roaming would cause the hand-off to occur at Position 2 under the control of the Wireless LAN Switch, rather than at Position 3 where it would occur when under the control of the mobile device.

It's Not Called and "Access Point" Anymore

The term "Access Point" is almost exclusively reserved for the standard 802.11 radio+intelligence device. This is what Connect802 carries from MiLAN, for example. Vendors of Wireless LAN Switches generally have created unique names for their radio component. Remember, the radio component is installed on the wall or ceiling just like an Access Point, but it only contains the radio circuitry and limited 802.11 intelligence. The centralized intelligence is in the Wireless LAN Switch. Here's what several different vendors call their radio units:
Term Used for Radio Device
Aruba Networks:
Access Point
Cisco Systems:
Thin Access Point
Access Port
Mobility Point
Other Vendors:
Lightweight Access Point