Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point Catalyst 9105 AXI Budget AP

Last updated on July 22nd, 2021

Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point Catalyst 9105 AXI budget AP , suitable for Small and medium enterprises and other moderate usage sites is discussed in this article.

Cisco Systems

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 undisputed leader in the Enterprise WLAN market with a 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 WLAN solution from Cisco Systems that was launched in 3rd Quarter of 2020 and is targeted mainly at entry level offices, small and medium enterprises, shops etc looking for performance and stability at budget prices.

Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point Catalyst 9105 AXI

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 these access points at lighter installations like remote workers and small offices that want next-gen features from a top manufacturer but within manageable budgets.

Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point 9105 AXI Highlights

  • High Efficiency WiFi 6 Standard (802.11ax)
  • Apple iOS Fast Lane
  • Low Power Consumption
  • BLE 5.0 support for IoT
  • WPA3 security standard

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Description of Feature Highlights

A Budget Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point with 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 AXI features 802.11ax/WiFi 6 standard (WiFi 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 AXI 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.

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1024 QAM

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 highly crowded enterprise environments that need constant WiFi signal management.

BSS Coloring

This Cisco Access Point 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 with their own access points due to communications happening else where in the WLAN network in the same channel. This greatly helps to overcome limitations posed on wireless communications due to 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.

Catalyst 9105 AXI Ports
Cisco Catalyst 9105 AXI Ports. Image Courtesy: Cisco

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 a shop/retail unit using 9105 AXI 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 11W of power, which is one of the lowest consumption levels seen in enterprise grade access points across all the top vendors. Thus, 802.3af PoE supply is enough to power up and run this device. Though it should also be noted that no additional ports are available in this AP for extra functionality that may draw more power.

IoT Capabilities

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 retail / office environments where IoT applications 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 the 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 WiFi 6 AP 9105 AXI Features Summary

Resource UtilizationOFDMA(Uplink/Downlink), MU-MIMO (Uplink(802.11ax)/Downlink)
User ExperienceBSS Coloring, iOS Fast Lane, Wi-Fi Agile Multiband™, WMM®
Green FeaturesTarget Wake Time, WMM® - Power Save
Security FeaturesWPA3, WPA2, Wi-Fi Enhanced Open™, OEAP (OfficeExtend Access Point)
Interference HandlingTransmit Beamforming
Data speed features1024 QAM; Speed Rating: Upto 1.488 Gbps (2.4 GHz & 5 GHz combined)
Max Client Capacity
Wireless StandardsWi-Fi CERTIFIED™ a/b/g/n/ ( (As on 9th Oct 2020, Wi-Fi Alliance Website)
IoT SupportBluetooth BLE 5.0, Container support for IoT applications
Radio FeaturesConcurrent Dual Band (2.4 GHz/5 Ghz)
Operating System"Cisco Unified Wireless Network Software Release 8.10MR3 or later
Cisco IOS® XE Software Release 17.3.1 or later"
AP ManagementVirtual Wireless Controller, Hardware controllers Catalyst 9800, 3504, 5520, 8540, Cisco DNA Support
Radio Hardware2.4 GHz Radio: (2x2:2)
5 GHz Radio: (2x2:2)
BLE 5 Radio
Ethernet Ports1x1G Uplink Ethernet Port (PoE)
Other Ports1xRJ45 Console Port
Power-up Options802.3af (PoE)
Max Power Consumption11W (802.3af)
Safety ComplianceUL 2043, UL/EN/IEC 60950-1, UL/CUL/EN/IEC 62368-1
Manufacturer Quote"Perfect for networks of all sizes, the Catalyst 9105 Access Points scale to meet the growing demands of IoT while fully supporting the latest innovations"

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Cisco WiFi 6 Access Point 9105 AXI has standards based as well as proprietary features that will appeal to small enterprises, shops, branch offices, small clinics etc 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 an excellent option when looking for the latest WiFi standard 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.