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Aruba unveils 320 Series AP with MU-MIMO grouping

Wireless vendor claims industry-first with new 802.11ac device

Aruba unveils 320 Series AP with MU-MIMO grouping
The Aruba 320 series APs will be available in the third quarter of 2015

Aruba Networks, now an HP company, this week unveiled its 320 Series access point (AP), which the vendor said is the industry's first 802.11ac Wave 2 AP with dynamic multi-user, multiple input/multiple output (MU-MIMO) grouping.

Aruba added that the 320 Series is the only 11ac Wave 2 AP in its class to integrate a BLE Beacon, which can help manage battery-powered Aruba Beacons from the cloud for firmware updates, battery life monitoring and configuration changes.

Products supporting the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard have been on the market for over a year now, but Wave 2 products for this standard are only just emerging. These products offer higher performance and the ability to support MU-MIMO-capable mobile devices.

One of the other problems that Wave 2 products are slated to solve is the ‘sticky client' problem, where devices stick to access points even when connectivity is compromised. Aruba said that, with the new 320 Series, it has introduced new innovations into patented ClientMatch technology, which originally solved the "sticky client" problem. The new enhanced Aruba ClientMatch incorporates intelligent awareness for Wave 2 MU-MIMO clients, automatically steering and grouping MU-MIMO devices together on Aruba 320 series APs, the vendor said.

This allows the 320 series to transmit data to multiple Wave 2-enabled devices simultaneously, increasing overall network capacity, Aruba explained. The vendor said that the 320 Series AP, combined with ClientMatch technology, would provide up to 42% higher performance in comparison to competing Wave 2 solutions.

The Aruba 320 series APs will be available in the third quarter of 2015. The 320 series AP starts at $1,395. Enhanced ClientMatch will also be available in June as part of the new ArubaOS 6.4.4 software enhancement, the vendor said.

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