Outdoor AP distances - how far rule of thumb?

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How far between AP’s we can effectively support with AP-175 and MSR series? This is a common question when working with the last mile residential solution in rural areas. Provider usually has fiber loops around the area to support AP’s, but find it too expensive to drag fiber to the door in many areas. Some areas will have some obstructions such as shrubs, brush, etc.


The limiting factor here is clients and the housing building material….not an attractive solution unless you go super dense IMO….too many failed metro Wi-Fi implementations that tried to do the same thing…..

The way to do this, especially if rural, is to use a client-side bridge or mesh point at the subscribing premise. Otherwise, the range and speeds will be poor.


So if the application here is residential broadband, lower speeds would be acceptable.

There has been reports of seeing 2000-2200 feet using the AP-85 with ANT-80s and a Pepwave 400 with a 3-4dBi omni on the Pepwave device. It was slow, but passed traffic. No testing beyond that.

Considering the relative max RX sensitivities (AP-85, -90; AP-175, -95), it would seem an AP-175 design could offer lower router densities.


However, the recommendation is 25 nodes per square mile (11 per sq. KM) is the absolute minimum to provide any usable signal indoors. This is the number that Cisco recommends in their Mesh design guide.

In practice, most WISPs in the USA have found that 35-40 nodes per sq mile are required, depending on ground clutter and other factors.


Note that most acceptance provisions in munimesh contracts stipulate a signal level to the back wall of the first set of rooms inside a building facing the street where the mesh node is located.” This means that back apartment/room coverage is not expected nor tested to meet the same standard.

Indoor high-power CPE devices such as PepWave, MSR1200 or Ruckus are critical to pull in outdoor signal and amplify to better data rates.

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