Last updated on July 22nd, 2021
Cisco 9105 AXW wall mount WiFi 6 access point, suitable for hospitality, dormitories and other light or moderate usage residential segments, is analyzed in this article.
Cisco Systems is a global leader in wired and wireless networking products and was founded in 1984 in San Francisco, USA. Cisco is the current market leader in the Enterprise WLAN market with about 44.3% revenue share in 2nd quarter of 2020 as per IDC Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker 2Q20.
In this post we will look at the brand new entry level WiFi 6 wall plate access point from Cisco Systems that was launched in the 3rd Quarter of 2020 and is targeted mainly at the hospitality and residential segment looking for strong performance and stability at reasonable cost.
Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point Catalyst 9105 AXW
Cisco states that “Cisco® Catalyst® 9105 Series Access Points are the most versatile next generation access point in enterprise grade. With the Catalyst 9105 Access Points, you can secure remote workers or the micro-office”. With 2×2:2 dual band radios, the company is targeting 9105 access points at lighter installations like remote workers, hospitality, small offices etc that want next-gen features from a top manufacturer but within manageable budgets.
Cisco 9105 AXW wall plate AP Highlights
- High Efficiency WiFi 6 Standard (802.11ax)
- Apple iOS Fast Lane
- Low Power Consumption
- BLE 5.0 support for IoT
- WPA3 security standard
>Related Post< Cisco WiFi 6 9105 AXI Ceiling Mount Budget AP
Description of Feature Highlights
This Cisco 9105 AXW wall plate AP has WiFi 6
WiFi 6 or 802.11ax is a “High Efficiency” standard intended to improve the efficiency of WiFi and make it more reliable and stable for WiFi communications. Our in-depth article on the top exciting WiFi 6 features can be referred for further understanding of 802.11ax WiFi 6 technology. Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point 9105 AXW features 802.11ax WiFi 6 standard (Wi-Fi 6 Certified, as per Cisco Website) and also extends support to client stations using previous legacy standards.
This Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point AP 9105 AXW features Uplink/Downlink Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), a technology borrowed from the mobile phone industry. OFDMA vastly improves upon the existing OFDM technology used in WiFi APs. It allows multiple clients to share WiFi channels. This feature can relieve congestion in crowded offices as 802.11 ax stations need not wait to get access to a full channel and instead share the channel with others and get things done.
OFDMA can make the whole WLAN efficient as clients devices with smaller loads that form the bulk of wireless communications can quickly transmit data. Though this feature can only be fully utilized in an environment having only 802.11ax clients, legacy clients can also experience an upside as the air will clear out quickly due to efficient communications happening in 802.11ax ecosystem.
Uplink(802.11ax)/Downlink MU-MIMO (2 streams per radio, total 4 streams) helps the AP to communicate with multiple clients simultaneously. This helps the stations to get quick access to the Access Point, thereby increasing the number of clients that can be served by an AP. This feature generally improves airtime efficiency and speed for all the clients.
This Cisco WiFi 6 AP can support 1024 QAM, which means faster data communications than currently possible. But to achieve such speeds, noise free environments will be needed along with closer ranges between access points and clients. Such requirements make it practically impossible to achieve the stated speeds in crowded environments that need constant WiFi signal management.
This Cisco 9105 AXW wall plate AP supports BSS Coloring feature of the WiFi 6 standard. BSS Coloring feature has been carried forward from the 802.11ah “Wi-Fi HaLow” standard and it identifies each access point in a WLAN with a unique identifier called ‘color’. This helps client stations to safely ignore communications in neighboring access points with a different color and below a threshold power level, and keep transmitting. This speeds up communications as clients need not stop data transfers to access points due to transmissions happening else where in the WLAN network in the same channel. This greatly helps to overcome limitations posed on wireless communications by existing co-channel interference safe guards.
Target Wake Time
Target Wake Time is another feature inspired from the 802.11ah IoT standard. This feature helps the access point to wake up clients based on a pre-negotiated time interval to receive data. The clients can sleep during other times, helping them to save battery. This feature can greatly help customers choosing this access point for IoT applications.
Apple iOS Fast Lane
This feature, developed from the partnership between Cisco and Apple, helps iOS 10+ applications get priority in WiFi communications. This provides better service levels to end users having Apple iOS products. This can help hospitality units using Cisco 9105 AXW wall plate AP to provide better WiFi connectivity to customers using Apple devices and delight them.
Low Power Consumption
This light weight Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point draws just 13W of power, which is one of the lowest consumption levels seen in enterprise grade access points. Thus, 802.3af PoE supply is enough to run this device when there are no other devices powered through its USB or LAN port.
This Cisco AP has a dedicated on-board radio to support BLE 5.0 stations for IoT . This eliminates the need to deploy additional infrastructure for certain IoT services. It can be useful in environments where IoT need to be implemented in a cost effective way. The AP also provides container support for IoT applications.
WPA3 security and OEAP
WPA3 is the latest security standard approved by WiFi Alliance for keeping WiFi communications secure. WPA3 tackles the shortcomings of its predecessor WPA2 in encrypting data transfers and has been in use since 2018. WPA3 was a major update to WiFi security after 14 years since WPA2 was launched in 2004.
Also this AP can be operated in OEAP mode (Office Extend Access Point) for remote workers to securely connect with office network. This should be especially useful in the current COVID 19 pandemic situation where work from home has become the norm.
Cisco 9105 AXW Features Summary
|Property||Cisco 9105 AXW|
|Radio Hardware||2.4 GHz Radio: (2x2:2)|
5 GHz Radio: (2x2:2)
BLE 5 Radio
|Wireless Feature||Concurrent Dual Band (2.4 GHz/5 Ghz)|
|IoT Support||Bluetooth BLE 5.0, Container support for IoT applications|
|Data Speed||Upto 1.488 Gbps (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz combined)|
|Resource Utilization||OFDMA, MU-MIMO (Uplink(802.11ax)/Downlink), BSS Coloring|
|User Experience||iOS Fast Lane, Wi-Fi Agile Multiband™, WMM®|
|Interference Handling||Transmit Beamforming|
|Security||WPA3, WPA2, Wi-Fi Enhanced Open™, OEAP (OfficeExtend Access Point)|
|AP Management||Virtual Wireless Controller, Hardware controllers Catalyst 9800, 3504, 5520, 8540, Cisco DNA Support|
|Ethernet Ports||1x2.5G Uplink Ethernet Port (PoE); 3X1G Downlink Ethernet Ports (LAN1 supports 10.5W)|
|Other Ports||1xUSB 2.0 port Type A,|
1xRJ45 Passthru Port,
1xRJ45 Console Port
|Power-up Options||802.3af (PoE) - USB & LAN1 disabled ; |
802.3at (PoE+) - USB or LAN1 disabled
|Max Power Consumption||13W-802.3af, |
18.5W-802.3at with USB (4.5W)
25.5W-802.3at with LAN1 @ 10.5W
|Green Features (Energy Saving)||Target Wake Time (TWT), WMM® - Power Save|
|Certified Wi-Fi Standards||Wi-Fi 6 certified (As per Cisco Website)|
|Safety Compliance||UL 2043, UL/EN/IEC 60950-1, UL/CUL/EN/IEC 62368-1|
|Manufacturer Quote||"Specifically designed to be mounted to the wall and is ideal for hospitality, residence halls and other multi-dwelling units"|
Cisco 9105 AXW wall plate WiFi 6 AP has standards based and proprietary features that will appeal to hospitality and other similar residential units that do not have mission critical WiFi requirements. WiFi 6 standard, IoT support, WPA3 authentication, Apple iOS fast lane etc at a low power draw makes this AP an excellent option from a top vendor in 2020.
Note: All product/company/standards names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them.The product features mentioned in this article are not exhaustive. For the full list of features and capabilities, kindly contact the manufacturer or its local representative in your region.