Technology Blog

Bad Hotel Wi-Fi Experience? Not anymore…

Aruba Employee
Aruba Employee

A few years ago, Wi-Fi topped the List of Most-Wanted Hotel Amenities in a survey for travelers from Today, while most hotels offer free Wi-Fi to their guests, the concerns of travelers have been shifted from the availability of complimentary hotel Wi-Fi to the user experience on those wireless networks.  


My recent stay at a hotel in Orlando was quite frustrating due to the hotel room’s low-speed Wi-Fi connection that didn’t support large file transmissions well nor online video streaming without the dreaded video freezes. The outdated consumer-grade Wi-Fi router, which I found later in the hotel room, explained why it was such a poor experience.  I wish I had brought my own access point to boost the data speed, like many of my co-workers do. Good news is next time, I can bring our recently launched remote AP-203R with me when traveling -  in case the hotel still hasn’t upgraded its wireless network with enterprise-grade hospitality APs.


On Feb 6, 2017, Aruba announced its 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 Hospitality and Remote APs – 303H, 203H and 203R Series. These are the new generation of indoor APs designed for hotels, branch offices, dormitories and remote offices (teleworkers). With support for blazing fast 802.11ac, compact size, and flexible deployment options, each of the new AP models are able to deliver the required performance and user experience at the lowest cost. 


What’s New?


The Aruba AP-303H, AP-203H and AP-203R Series are unified APs - each of them supporting both controller-less and controller-managed modes. The AP’s also support cloud-based management through Aruba Central or the on-premise management platform, AirWave. Depending on the customers’ real-world requirements, they can choose one mode first and switch to the other if requirements change. ArubaOS and InstantOS are supported simultaneously in the APs. Below are the highlights of these new APs:


AP- 303H


  • Successor of Aruba AP-205H that adds the Wave 2 feature, MU-MIMO
  • 11ac Wave 2 with an aggregate data rate up to 1.27Gbps
    • 5GHz 2x2:2SS SU/MU-MIMO, VTH80 clients, up to 867Mbps
    • 2.4GHz, 2x2:2SS SU-MIMO, VTH40 clients, up to 400Mbs
  • Aruba patented Enhanced ClientMatch to maximize the network performance
  • Integrated BLE-based Aruba Beacon for location services
  • Unique Intelligent Power Monitoring (IPM) feature to reduce power consumption
  • Flexible mounting options – wall/wall box/desk
  • 3af/at power
  • Adds a Wi-Fi status LED for improved status monitoring from the 205H
  • 3 local 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports



  • 11ac Wave 1 AP with a peak data rate up to 867Mbps
    • Single 2x2 mode: 867Mbps@ 5GHz band or 400Mbps @ 2.4GHz band
    • Dual 1x1 mode: 433Mbps @ 5GHz band or 200Mbps @ 2.4GHz band
  • Software configurable flexible radio to reduce the cost while providing the high speed
    • Single radio - 2x2:2SS 11ac, on either band. OR
    • Dual radio - 1x1:1SS 11ac
  • Dedicated USB port for plugging Aruba beacon
  • Flexible mounting options – wall/wall box/desk
  • Powered by 802.3af PoE only (no external power supply)
  • 1 local 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet port

AP-203R Series


  • Successor of Aruba RAP-3, including AP-203R and AP-203RP(PoE-PSE)
  • 11ac Wave 1 AP with the peak data rate up to 867Mbps
    • Single 2x2 mode: 867Mbps@ 5GHz band or 400Mbps @ 2.4GHz band
    • Dual 1x1 mode: 433Mbps @ 5GHz band or 200Mbps @ 2.4GHz band
  • Software configurable flexible radio to reduce the cost while providing the high speed
    • Single radio - 2x2:2SS 11ac, on either band. OR
    • Dual radio - 1x1:1SS 11ac
  • Integrated BLE-based Aruba Beacon for location services
  • Flexible mounting options – wall/wall box/desk
  • Direct AC power without the need of an external adapter
  • 2 local 10/100/1000BASE-T Ethernet ports

How will you benefit from these advancements?


  • The 303H, 203H and 203R Series APs offer flexible mounting options to meet the requirements in various environments. For example, in a hotel room where the wall box is available, the 303H and 203H can easily fit into the box without additional accessory or adjustment; for environments like dormitories, hotel rooms or home offices where an easy deployment is required, the 3 APs can be simply put on the desk with/without a stand.
  • All 3 APs support integrated or USB enabled BLE for mobile based location and push notification services.
  • The simplified and flexible radio (dual or single) design in 203H and 203R ensures the most cost-effective solution for hospitality and remote offices while providing high data performance for multiple devices.
  • One or more local Gigabit Ethernet ports on each AP model enable users to securely connect wired devices to simplify branch and remote office environments.
  • When deployed in a branch office or remote offices, the Aruba Hospitability and Remote APs ensure fast and secure access to corporate resources through secure VPN tunnels.
  • Cost-effective for high-speed 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave 2 WLANs.

Use Cases


The 3 new APs build and improve on, the core features in our existing Aruba hospitality and remote APs while doing so at a lower cost. Customers in many verticals, including Hospitality, Enterprise and Branch Office, Retail, Higher Education, Healthcare and Service Provider that provide managed services, are expected to upgrade or expand their existing wireless networks with these 3 AP models, enjoying a faster wireless connection with better user experience at a lower cost.


With their flexible deployment modes – controller-managed or controller-less, the 3 APs can be managed in the cloud by Aruba Central, or on site by Aruba AirWave to deliver a highly efficient network that is able to support the generation of mobile (#GenMobile), Internet of Things(IoT) and mobile applications.


To learn more about the 3 new Hospitality and Remote APs, Click here: 303H, 203H, 203R


These look amazing! So sleek! Going to have to order a few demo units to take a closer look for sure! 

Aruba Employee
Orderable now. Shipping in mid – late March.
Aruba Employee
Orderable now. Shipping in mid – late March.
New Member

You guys/gals did great with the design appearance. As far as specs, those are just numbers. Real use will determine value.

New Member

Hi just got one of these fresh unused out of box for demo. I was under the impression this could be used for AP or IAP. It appears to be supplied in AP mode only. How do you cange it to IAP mode.?

Aruba Employee

What AP model do you have? As you may know, Instant mode is not yet supported with 6.5.2 on AP-203H (need 6.5.3).

Do you have the Startup Guide that ships with the AP? The Guide provides a link to the software QS Guide, which has these details. Attached is a Guide for your reference.

In general, the AP will only operate in controller-based mode if a controller is discovered on the network, or the AP is explicitly pointed to it. In all other cases it will come up in Instant mode.


Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
3333 Scott Blvd |Santa Clara, CA 95051
+1 408 990 2004 | @WiFiEllie
New Member

Hi Ellie,


I have AP303H (RW) , these are marketed as both AP and IAP switchable.

Solution provided by HPE tech call is:

They appear to be shipped with AP mode code only and require that the IAP code loaded as a upgrade as it is not a selectable option as in the software notes.


This shipped code is and requires the latest supported IAP code for 303H being loaded.

However this code is missing the country codes for most APJ regions.

I am in Australia.


The Aruba Dev team is currently working a patch.



Mark Fischer


Aruba Employee
Thanks for the note, Mark.

Great the Aruba team has taken action on it.

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