Wireless Access

New Contributor

Understanding differences between 303 and 207 APs

 Hi. I need help. I've got to deploy a WiFi network in a school. Few local retailers oferred me different models for similar prices: 207 vs 303.


I've tried to understand their differences from specifications (PDFs: Aruba 303 Series and Aruba 207 Series ). Starting from a first paragraph they look almost identical.

E.g. 207 seems to have higher throughput:

The compact Aruba 207 Series AP delivers a maximum 
concurrent data rate of 867 Mbps in the 5GHz band and 
400 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band (for an aggregate peak 
data rate of 1.3Gbps). 
The compact Aruba 303 Series AP delivers a maximum concurrent data rate of 867 Mbps in the 5GHz band and 300 Mbps in the 2.4GHz band (for an aggregate peak data rate of 1.2Gbps).


And so on with small technical differences which are to many for me to comprehend. 


I used a comparison tool which available on the site. Some of highlighted specifications i can understand, while others i still can't get clearly.


I kindly ask somebody to explain the following differences from a table in (more or less) simple enlish, (for non-professionals):

  1. SW type (Unified software?)
  2. Highest order modulation (why higher model index has lower freq. parameter for 2.4GHz while equal for 5GHz)
  3. DL-MU-MIMO (What is this? Is it sort of multiple frequencies from single transmitter or somewthing? But where it comes into account with APs? If 303 has it, what does 207 have? What's the difference?)
  4. Integrated antennas
  5. IPM (Intelligent Power Monitoring)
  6. Restrictions from 802.3at POE (without IPM) (i know what is PoE)
  7. Spectrum analysis support (I know what is SA, while IDK where it comes into usage in APs )
  8. Max IPsec encrypted wired throughput (RAP mode) (This seems to be important linear parameter, but IDK in terms of what? I know what is IPsec, but what was exactly measured here and what it affects in AP's operation?)

Thanks in advance.


P.S.: (To site's staff.) Maybe Aruba (HP) might consider augmenting a way to provide Technical Specifications similar to how Intel does it: with small tooltips next to technicall terms; e.g. Intel® Core™ i5-9600K Processor

MVP Expert
MVP Expert

Re: Understanding differences between 303 and 207 APs

Hi New_ar,



A AP303 is a Unified AP and can use with a controller or controllerless. Before we had AP and IAP(instant) but now more and more become as "Unified" and can do the same as a IAP. (note allways check the datasheet and look if AP is Unified or not)



AP200 series have only MIMO

AP300 series have MU-MIMO

With MU-MIMO an accesspoint can send traffic to multiple users in the same time, this is de biggest difference between both series.



IPM is a feature of de 300 series AP.



7. An AP can be put in AP-Mode, Moninitor-Mode or SA-Mode. In the controller based deployment you need a RF licences to use it.


8. When configure a accesspoint in RAP mode (remote access point) all traffic is encapsulated in a IPSEC tunnel from AP to the controller.



Kind Regards Marcel Koedijk
HPE ASE Flexnetwork | ACMP | ACCP | Ekahau ECSE Design - Was this post usefull, Kudos are welcome.

Re: Understanding differences between 303 and 207 APs

On item #2, on the AP-207 we've enabled a proprietary feature that was first introduced by Broadcom and named TurboQAM: support of 802.11ac 256-QAM modulation in the 2.4GHz band (per the standard, 802.11ac applies to 5GHz only).

While the (QCA chipset of the) AP-303 support this as well, we found out that there were interoperability issues, and we disabled the feature on all QCA based APs. It is still enabled on BRCM based APs, which results in a 25% higher peak datarate in the datasheets for those platforms, compared to otherwise equivalent QCA radios.

Note that many client devices may not support the feature either, in which case the fact that the AP does becomes irrelevant.


Re: Understanding differences between 303 and 207 APs

Sorry, 33% higher peak datarate.


Also, concerning #4, what's the question/concern? Other that somewhat different patterns and peak gain numbers, the integrated antennas of 207 and 303 are very similar.

New Contributor

Re: Understanding differences between 303 and 207 APs

I have setup with Aruba IAP 207 (total 19 AP's), now I want to add another 2 units Aruba AP 303 within this setup, is there any challenge to add 303 within 207 network? 

Guru Elite

Re: Understanding differences between 303 and 207 AP

Your cluster would have to be running Instant and above support the Minimum code version for the 303.


Closing this thread because it is more than a year old.

*Answers and views expressed by me on this forum are my own and not necessarily the position of Aruba Networks or Hewlett Packard Enterprise.*
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