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ionas
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Band Steering implementation?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:20 pm

Does anyone know when is MikroTik going to implement BandSteering?

Meaning, equipment with dual band operation (both 2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz) detects clients capable of 5 GHz operation and steers them to that frequency which leaves the more crowded 2.4 GHz band available for legacy clients.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:34 pm

Client decides where to connect. Set a preferred band to your clients.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:36 pm

Ubiquiti has implemented this a long time ago.
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:36 am

At most the AP can kick the client from (say) 2,4GHz - and hope it connects again with 5Ghz. But that's about it: it can only hope. In the end, the client decides which frequency it will use.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:02 am

There is more that the ap can do than hope.

What happens if it simply only responds to beacons on 5g and not 2.4g for example. How could client connect to 2.4g?
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:47 am

And thats exactly how it works...

I hope Mikrotik implement this soon, its causing us a lot of issues on our large deployments.
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:50 am

What kind of clients don't do this by default? At least Apple devices and modern Windows laptops always prefer 5GHz by themselves. Client decides these things, but if you want to FORCE something else, you can use the Access List settings and set required signal levels etc.
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:19 am

There's a bit more to band steering than "just" kicking clients off 2.4GHz.
One of the first good things to have would be control of the beacon rate. Not only for band steering. When I deploy large scale (and I mean LARGE) WiFi networks, I already increase beacon intervals to free up more air time. For example setting the 2.4GHz beacon to 152ms and the 5GHz to 120 would make dual-band capable clients see the 5GHz beacon earlier.
Additionally, the band-steering capable AP sees the same client MAC address concurrently probing at 2.4 and 5GHz - so it would not respond to the 2.4GHz probe once it discovered the same MAC address on the 5GHz band. And that's nothing that can be done with access lists.
Having these two options in routerOS, together with 802.11r and 802.11k, it would enable much more use cases.

Just my two cents,
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:22 am

Thank you for the clarification.
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 12:56 pm

How different beacon intervals can assure that one will be always before another if none knows when a client starts to scan and at what frequency it will be and how long he will be scanning before he decides to select an ap to try to connect?
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 2:41 pm

There's a bit more to band steering than "just" kicking clients off 2.4GHz.
One of the first good things to have would be control of the beacon rate. Not only for band steering. When I deploy large scale (and I mean LARGE) WiFi networks, I already increase beacon intervals to free up more air time. For example setting the 2.4GHz beacon to 152ms and the 5GHz to 120 would make dual-band capable clients see the 5GHz beacon earlier.
This only increases the statistical chance of the client choosing 5Ghz. It can, still, chooses 2GHz.
Additionally, the band-steering capable AP sees the same client MAC address concurrently probing at 2.4 and 5GHz - so it would not respond to the 2.4GHz probe once it discovered the same MAC address on the 5GHz band. And that's nothing that can be done with access lists.
Having these two options in routerOS, together with 802.11r and 802.11k, it would enable much more use cases.

Just my two cents,
-Chris
Assuming that:

1) The client probe both frequencies at the same time. I don't know if this is the norm or the exception.
2) The client chooses 5GHz over 2GHz. Time and again I see a client using 2GHz - even if crowded - instead of 5GHz. I had, in some cases, to disable the function that chooses based on quality signal - the client kept jumping between APs, without stopping on none. Samsung mobiles love to do this.

The idea of not responding in 2GHz, once found in 5GHz, is an interesting one.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 3:04 pm

In reply to Jarda and Paternot,

I can only tell from my experience that it seems to work.
Sample for beacon rate (which I totally agree that the impact is highly statistical):
Two days in the same location: about 25'000 clients connected concurrently, day one with identical beacon intervals: roughly about 50% on 2.4GHz.
Day two, same clients, with adjusted beacon intervals about 25% on 2.4GHz.

And for the statistical chance: It might not be that important with just 500 clients on 5...10 APs but it becomes really important when dealing with about 60'000+ clients on a couple of hundred APs. (Which I do on a very regular basis)

Everything about band steering that is done on AP- or manager/controller-side is more or less guessing and deep analysis of the air - since it is not covered in any 802.11 standard, every vendor is brewing their own ideas and make it a huge secret - some do better, some do it not so well. I've seen them all and it's basically all about MAC addresses on bands - getting better when levels come into the game as well.

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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Nov 15, 2017 6:09 pm

How different beacon intervals can assure that one will be always before another if none knows when a client starts to scan and at what frequency it will be and how long he will be scanning before he decides to select an ap to try to connect?
You can't be assured [ie 100% certain], but you don't need to be. It just needs to work the majority of the time, and it will help.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:42 pm

What kind of clients don't do this by default? At least Apple devices and modern Windows laptops always prefer 5GHz by themselves. Client decides these things, but if you want to FORCE something else, you can use the Access List settings and set required signal levels etc.
Android has no "prefer 5 GHz" option, it will pick whatever it likes unless you completely disable 2.4 GHz. Android is the most popular OS by far, Windows laptops and Apple devices are very much a minority in the world of devices today. Using access list and signal levels is not a clean solution, since it forcibly disconnects the client which can interrupt downloads, streaming, etc.

Band steering as implemented by most vendors hides the wireless SSID from beacons. When the client wants to connect, it initiates a probe request on both radios. The AP sees the request come in on both radios, and responds with the probe response on only the 5 GHz radio. The client now has enough information to associate with the 5 GHz radio and does so. The downside to this approach is that it impacts how quickly the client can connect or roam when you enter the range of the AP. Since the client must actively scan for networks, it cannot simply passively listen and connect as soon as it sees a familiar SSID in the beacon. This is also a minor benefit, since it means the client is more likely to be in range of both radios before probing.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:51 pm

There is more that the ap can do than hope.

What happens if it simply only responds to beacons on 5g and not 2.4g for example. How could client connect to 2.4g?

i think the exact definition is "probe requests" not beacons
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Nov 20, 2017 2:54 pm

i think the beacon interval option its a good idea and maybe the easiest to implement
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:33 pm

+1 for tunable beacon intervals (better than nothing) .. I dont know if it's already in feature requests, but it should be
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:17 am

+1 for tunable beacon intervals (better than nothing) .. I dont know if it's already in feature requests, but it should be

+1 !!!
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:24 am

Does anyone know when is MikroTik going to implement BandSteering?

Meaning, equipment with dual band operation (both 2.4 Ghz and 5 GHz) detects clients capable of 5 GHz operation and steers them to that frequency which leaves the more crowded 2.4 GHz band available for legacy clients.

yes band steering is a very important and useful feature implemented in most vendors in wifi

airtime fairness is another important feature

even brands like tplink already offer it
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:13 am

We implemented mikrotik at busy airport in India and facing the slow speed issue for Android mobiles on 2.4 . Normis please implement this band steering asap it Will be really helpful to tackle high 2.4 interference zones. Here 80% use Android
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:40 pm

We implemented mikrotik at busy airport in India and facing the slow speed issue for Android mobiles on 2.4 . Normis please implement this band steering asap it Will be really helpful to tackle high 2.4 interference zones. Here 80% use Android
which ap did you use in that project??
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Dec 17, 2017 11:02 am

We implemented mikrotik at busy airport in India and facing the slow speed issue for Android mobiles on 2.4 . Normis please implement this band steering asap it Will be really helpful to tackle high 2.4 interference zones. Here 80% use Android
which ap did you use in that project??
We used 952 dual band ap that comes with sfp port.in our observation most dual band android phones first connect on 2.4 and later auto shifts to 5 band . we need steering so that phones with both bands connect only with 5 . Thanks
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Dec 18, 2017 9:57 pm

rogers3b2, what tx-power levels do you use? Making tx-power on 2.4G band lower then on 5G band may help a lot.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:35 pm

rogers3b2, what tx-power levels do you use? Making tx-power on 2.4G band lower then on 5G band may help a lot.
yes, some people call that "making organic 5ghz" but in some cases you need to lower 2,4ghz to levels as low as 5dbm, sacrificing too much coverage, only suitable for high density setups
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:51 pm

rogers3b2, what tx-power levels do you use? Making tx-power on 2.4G band lower then on 5G band may help a lot.
It does. e.g. A room with 3x WAP AC and ~150 clients. I set 5Ghz at 23db and 2.4Ghz at 17db. This gives me ~2/3 of 5Ghz clients and ~1/3 of 2.4Ghz clients
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:16 pm

in some cases you need to lower 2,4ghz to levels as low as 5dbm, sacrificing too much coverage, only suitable for high density setups
From my experience, the best working multi-AP setups is the ones where 2G coverage is as close to the 5G coverage as possible for each AP in the setup.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 22, 2017 8:23 pm

I set 5Ghz at 23db and 2.4Ghz at 17db.
Those values a way too high. For the best user experience the tx-power of your APs should never exceed the max. tx-power of your wireless clients, which lies in the range from 13dBm to 17dBm (depending on the channel) for an average smartphone or tablet.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Dec 24, 2017 4:24 am

I set 5Ghz at 23db and 2.4Ghz at 17db.
Those values a way too high. For the best user experience the tx-power of your APs should never exceed the max. tx-power of your wireless clients, which lies in the range from 13dBm to 17dBm (depending on the channel) for an average smartphone or tablet.

thats the difference in tx power needed between 5ghz and 2.4ghz to make clients to prefer 5ghz "organically"


to avoid having to do that is that we require the mechanism of band steering
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Dec 24, 2017 9:47 am

I set 5Ghz at 23db and 2.4Ghz at 17db.
Those values a way too high. For the best user experience the tx-power of your APs should never exceed the max. tx-power of your wireless clients, which lies in the range from 13dBm to 17dBm (depending on the channel) for an average smartphone or tablet.
thats the difference in tx power needed between 5ghz and 2.4ghz to make clients to prefer 5ghz "organically"
That's clear. What I was trying to say is that setting power for 2GHz to 17dBm and then rising the power for 5GHz above that value is not the right way to go. Instead, one should set power for 5GHz to 15-17dBm and then lower the power for 2GHz below that.

Also keep in mind that tx-power for ac-capable chipsets means total power, whereas for non-ac-capable chipsets it means power per chain (see here), so tx-power=17dBm for a 2-chain 2GHz hardware actually means 20dBm total power.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Dec 26, 2017 8:30 pm

I set 5Ghz at 23db and 2.4Ghz at 17db.
Those values a way too high. For the best user experience the tx-power of your APs should never exceed the max. tx-power of your wireless clients, which lies in the range from 13dBm to 17dBm (depending on the channel) for an average smartphone or tablet.
thats the difference in tx power needed between 5ghz and 2.4ghz to make clients to prefer 5ghz "organically"
... then lower the power for 2GHz below that.
coverage at that power level you suggest is very poor

because that we need other mechanism to steer clients toward 5ghz
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Dec 26, 2017 9:56 pm

coverage at that power level you suggest is very poor
Do you remember that wireless is a bidirectional thing? I mean not only your clients should hear your access point, but you access point should hear you clients too. And so "at that power level" you actually get the best coverage possible for ordinary clients (like smartphones, tablets and laptops); tx-power values above that level will make you clients show you 5 bars of signal level on a greater distance, but that will not make the coverage any better (in fact, it usually makes it worse).

This, of course, does not apply to situations where all your clients are Mikrotik (or other brand) CPE devices, which allow the max tx-power value to be adjusted to the same level as it is on your AP.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:07 pm

coverage at that power level you suggest is very poor
@chechito I can see you have long experience with MT, but this answer puzzles me. Wi-Fi connection is bidirectional. With high power levels the AP can be received over a long distance, yes. However, there is no way for the low-powered client to reply or even ack. Thus, the high power of the AP is useless, even though the nominal coverage is great. I would agree with @andriys that the power levels of the AP and the clients should be equal.

Physically the 5GHz is about twice the frequency of 2.4GHz. The attenuation grows in square of the frequency, so the received level of 2.4GHz is four times or 6dB higher than 5GHz. By lowering the transmit power by 6dB on 2.4GHz both signals are received at equal strength. Changing that to 7dB would make more clients connect to 5GHz unless they natively prefer 5GHz (like Apple iOS devices do for example).

High transmit power levels are useful for PtP and PtMP scenarios where you control both sides of the link. Even then you should set the transmit power to the same level.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Dec 27, 2017 8:17 pm

i am talking about wifi for smartphones tablets and laptops no client device under control, low tx power on client devices, mixed devices, windows, mac, android, iphone

i have the following example in some project, a small building, 3 floor with 1 ap per floor, fortunately is a high density deployment, most user concentration was on floor 2 the AP location was intended to distribute floor 2 users between the avaliable AP, because the lack of band steering, i barely achieve the required coverage because i had to lower 2.4ghz radio tx power until i get better signal in 5ghz ssid than 2.4ghz ssid that way 5ghz capable wifi device prefer 5ghz ssid, the following power setting was needed,

FLOOR 1 (brick walls)
mapa piso 1.jpg
2.4ghz 12dbm setting effective power 15dbm
5ghz default (23dbm)

FLOOR 2 (open space less walls)
mapa piso 2.jpg
2.4ghz 2dbm setting effective power 5dbm
5ghz 20dbm

FLOOR 3 (brick walls)
mapa piso 3.jpg
2.4ghz 10 dbm setting effective power 13dbm
5ghz default (23dbm)


as you can see is a very small area and 5ghz tx power are maxed out while 2.4ghz is very limited
only was possible use 20mhz channels in 5ghz to improve signal level over 2.4ghz, trying 40mhz channels on 5ghz to improve throughput was not possible because the signal level was always under 2.4ghz
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Dec 28, 2017 1:03 pm

@chechito If you want to get by with just one access point per floor, you need to locate it centrally. Just a bit north from the staircase in this case. (I assume its is a staircase at the middle of the bottom part of the floor map.) If you place the APs in the corner of the floor you are wasting 3/4 of the signal and there are more walls to penetrate on the way to the opposite corner.

Quite often you need more access points to get a good coverage in a brick building. Fortunately the APs are less expensive these days and CAPsMAN makes management easy. I just had a case where a client wanted ALL floor area covered, even in the basement with reinforced concrete walls. I made a plan and I placed one AP per room with tx power turned way down. I still don't know why it was so important to get coverage in all utility rooms and storage areas, I tried to talk them out of it.

I believe 2,4GHz band would fit your case better. The signal penetrates the brick walls better and the building appears to be separate so hopefully the neighbouring APs won't cause that bad interference. You'd get better throughput with 5GHz and 40MHz channels of course. Perhaps you can use both: 5GHz in the high density areas and use 2,4GHz for the additional supporting APs. The 2,4GHz APs are less expensive if you are on a budget (hAP Mini or cAP Lite for example). When you have more access points it is even more important to turn down the tx power to keep cell sizes small.

(Yes, I would like to see MikroTik implementing a band steering option, too. However, it won't solve all problems.)
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:57 pm

It all depends on noise. If you have a noisy neighbours or your windows overlook a flat with 49 AP's or more.... forget it with 2,4 GHz. Use 5 GHz ONLY!!!

Use 2,4 for legacy devices which cannot do 2,4. yes, 5 GHz equipment is more expensive, and you need more of that stuff to cover the area, but once done, you have a very good / perfect network. especially if you can use DFS channels.....
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 10:22 am

@haik01 Yes, it depends on the environment. OP didn't give a hint about it. The floor plan looks like it could be a small hostel (no bathrooms). The hostel could be in the jungle, mountains or downtown Bogota. There might be neighbours or not. Your advise suits Netherlands or Finland, where a single breakfast setup might cost 200€. In some other parts of the world, that might be the total budget for a WiFi installation: parts and labor. Even then it will make a big dent in the annual profit figure for a small business. Over here it is hard to keep in mind what it is to live on a shoestring. I try to give options and not to appear arrogant. Although it could just as well be that this is a wealthy villa with money to spend, too.

Yes, I agree with you and that is exactly the same advise I give to my Finnish customers.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Jan 04, 2018 12:43 pm

Client decides these things, but if you want to FORCE something else, you can use the Access List settings and set required signal levels etc.
We are in the networking business, not in desktop/phone business. When I get an order for a WiFi deployment, I cannot blame Apple, no client in the world will buy that excuse. Other WiFi vendors understand that and adjust their products to bad client behavior and band steering/client handoff/roaming controlled by the AP controller is industry standard. MikroTik, you need to get this (as proven by other WiFi vendors) functionality implemented or you will never get your share in Enterprise WiFi.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Tue Jan 09, 2018 8:28 pm

At last some improvement by mikrotik they introduced adaptive noise immunity on capsman in there latest release 6.41.
To tacle my issue at airport i make differnt ssid for 5 and 2 for 5 i just Mentioned word FAST only 5 ghz clients will be able to see these ssids.
Thanks
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 12:37 pm

At the start there was discussion how to implement band steering. Selective beacons would be an easy solution. I found documentation how Ubiquiti does it. It requires keeping track of the clients even across multiple access points, so It requires quite a bit more work:

How Band Steering Works
  • Controller maintains a list of 5GHz-capable devices, which is shared with access points.
  • If a client connects to the 5GHz band, it is added to the list of 5GHz-capable devices.
  • If a known 5GHz-capable device attempts to connect to the 2.4GHz band, the device is dropped initially and moved to the 5GHz band.
  • To accommodate for legacy clients and coverage issues, if more than 8 such requests are received within 10 second period, the client is allowed to connect to the 2.4GHz band.
Different Band Steering Modes
Prefer-5GHz: If you configure the access point to use 'prefer-5GHz' band steering mode, the access point will not respond to 2.4 GHz probe requests from a client if all the following conditions are met:
  • The client has already probed the access point on the 5GHz band and therefore is known to be capable of sending probes on the 5GHz band.
  • The client is not currently associated on the 2.4GHz radio to this access point.
  • The client has sent less than 8 probes requests in the last 10 seconds. If the client has sent more than 8 probes in the last 10 seconds, the client will be able to connect using whatever band it prefers.
Force-5GHz: When the access point is configured in 'force-5GHz' band steering mode, the access point will not respond to 2.4GHz probe requests from a client if all the following conditions are met:
  • The client has already probed the access point on the 5GHz band and therefore is known to be capable of sending probes on the 5GHz band.
  • The client is not currently associated on the 2.4GHz radio of this access point.
  • All dual-band clients are pushed to connect to the 5GHz radio.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:34 pm

Oh how I wish Mikrotik would implement this !
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Jun 07, 2018 4:44 pm

For Phone and tablets 1x1 / 2x2 5Ghz coverage is only limited anyhow to very good signal strength areas
(like one concrete wall and not more)
Only 3x3 MacBooks or 4x4 STB can sustain far reaching 5G connections across walls etc.
So my target is to get 1x1 and 2x2 clients as quick as possible to 5Ghz once they have good RSSI
to free up frequency for far our 2.4G devices.

Assuming you have same SSID on 2.4 and 5G you can steer clients with access entries.
You need to provide 2 access list entries per device (for those dual band capable).
One access entry on 2.4G i/f with signal range -120 to -70 (-70 means it becomes quit good)
If client has better than -70 is kicked out quickly after 3 seconds.
One 5Ghz i/f access entry allows connection only from -85 to + 120. Again is worse then kicked out after 3 seconds
to move quickly to 2.4G. This values depend on how agressive you want to steer or not...

Ideally would be: be able to add per interface (5GHz mainly) a signal strength limitation, and not per client.
Because you really do not want to stick 5G devices too long to the network.

Also having a "hysteresis" would be good. Once device goes out of one network, should not come back immediately.
This is also why you need some overlap between signal strength.

For Samsung, Apples, pads/phones this works quit well, but means lot of effort to program the access list.

Some scripting (which I am not good at) could do lot of that automatically, specially detecting if the
device will look at 2.4G and 5G and then add this automatically into the dual band steering access list.
---
cap hap map snap.....miam miam
RB4011, that looks good....
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 7:19 pm

i'm still wait for band steering feature from Mikrotik Wireless Access Point
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Aug 27, 2018 8:05 pm

The Mikrotik should not implement this feature. unfortunately.
I apologize my grammatical errors, my english not so good, I am not a native speaker.
Wiki is maintained in English. I use Google translator. 8)
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:28 pm

Assuming you have same SSID on 2.4 and 5G you can steer clients with access entries.
You need to provide 2 access list entries per device (for those dual band capable).
This not working (for me, at least). Mikrotik disconnects from 5Ghz and tries to connect to 2.4Ghz. Infinitely.
Can't understand, why not to introduce 1 simple setting: if 5Ghz signal level is over 70 (for example), do not move client device to 2.4Ghz, even it has much better signal level?
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sat Dec 15, 2018 5:49 pm

+1 Let us change the beacon interval, at least, please.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Dec 16, 2018 4:07 pm

It's sad when features like "Kid control" have higher priority and are implemented sooner than band steering that's been requested for years...
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:49 pm

For 2.4Ghz I set TX power to 9db, for 5.0Ghz I set TX power to 16db. This helped at lot to get more dual band devices into 5.0 Ghz. I had Enterasys access points before I changed to MikroTik. With band steering enabled, Apple IOS devices refused to connect to the access point at all...
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Oct 28, 2019 1:03 am

*bump*
-----
Mike Hammett

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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:23 am

Has this been implemented yet?
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Apr 12, 2020 3:52 pm

Has this been implemented yet?
No
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:14 pm

This not working (for me, at least). Mikrotik disconnects from 5Ghz and tries to connect to 2.4Ghz. Infinitely.
Can't understand, why not to introduce 1 simple setting: if 5Ghz signal level is over 70 (for example), do not move client device to 2.4Ghz, even it has much better signal level?
+1
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Apr 27, 2020 2:25 pm

Can't understand, why not to introduce 1 simple setting: if 5Ghz signal level is over 70 (for example), do not move client device to 2.4Ghz, even it has much better signal level?
The AP does not move any client devices. The client devices decide themselves how to connect, when to roam, what band etc. This is how 802.11 was designed.
Cisco, Aruba etc. band steering implementations try to work against this design choice. Sometimes they work, occasionally they cause problems that are very difficult to troubleshoot.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Apr 27, 2020 4:06 pm

Can't understand, why not to introduce 1 simple setting: if 5Ghz signal level is over 70 (for example), do not move client device to 2.4Ghz, even it has much better signal level?
The AP does not move any client devices. The client devices decide themselves how to connect, when to roam, what band etc. This is how 802.11 was designed.
Cisco, Aruba etc. band steering implementations try to work against this design choice. Sometimes they work, occasionally they cause problems that are very difficult to troubleshoot.
Only if you compare the amount of complaining about those band steering/roaming problems between Aruba forums and MikroTik forums...... Aruba/Cisco are 99% reliable, but MT people only focus on their 1% of problem.

“see? That’s why we don’t implement this function!”

Wisdom said if you focus on people’s edges, you will improve; if you focus on people’s problem, you will fail soon

That’s why we aren’t suggesting others to get MT’s WiFi, yes I agree every vendor has their cons, but MT has just way too much of complaints, and never even look at it.......
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri May 08, 2020 12:18 am

Instead of a non-standard kludge I would love to see MikroTik put effort into implementing 802.11d (country ie), .11h (channel utilization), .11k (neighbor reports), .11v (BSS transitions)... Once those are properly implemented should any effort be put into tweaking.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Mon Oct 05, 2020 6:10 am

Instead of a non-standard kludge I would love to see MikroTik put effort into implementing 802.11d (country ie), .11h (channel utilization), .11k (neighbor reports), .11v (BSS transitions)... Once those are properly implemented should any effort be put into tweaking.
Posting late here, but I agree with the above. These standards need to be implemented mainly because people don't know what they do and they assume it will fix network issues. The argument won't go away until the standards are supported (regardless of whether they help or not).

But all Mikrotik users need to be aware that many of the 802.11 standards do not expose any configurable options. The standards we are discussing here would expose some, but to be clear, 802.11r and 802.11k would likely be just "on/off" whereas 802.11v is the standard that essentially lets you as a network manager influence the behaviour of clients and the 802.11k/r standards. It would add a few tabs to the CAPsMAN interface for sure.

Regardless of all the automation and management that these standards bring though, if you design your network right and use the right access lists in CAPsMAN today, your network can behave just as good as a similarly designed network with the new standards in use. It would also behave MUCH better than a poorly designed network that is using the 802.11k/r/v standards.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Dec 02, 2020 6:17 pm

I am going to jump into this year(s) old discussion:

1. It has been augmented that the signal coming from the AP should be actually set the same as what signal reaches the AP from the client. Or in other words, both ends should have the same output and since for most mobiles, tablets, laptops etc. is not adjustable and set to 17dBm the AP should be on 17dBm.
But that is only partially true. In setting the AP on a higher signal output its signal reaches the client with a higher signal. Since 90% of internet related traffic is still download direction (to the client) and only live (video) communications need same level up and download capacity, the higher signal at the client will help to sustain higher downloads towards the client. Because we all know that the connection rate and MCS rate depicts the transfer capacity and the signal (S/N in fact) depicts the connection rate/modulation.
And in crowded networks, higher download rates will free the airtime sooner for that particular client than if the download was as slow as the upload. And when the client is done in a shorter time, the overall capacity of the network goes up.....
Off course some clients might now sense that although a download went relatively fast his video conference still sucks.. at the other end (since effected by his crappy upload).
So this is some sort of off set an operator have to make some educated guess what is best.

In crowded spaces with many user that basically only browse, watch youtube, IPTV etc. download is important, so you can set the output of the AP higher to give your network more capacity (up to some point where a micro cell setup should not start interfering with other cells)
But if you need to supply for instance a classroom or campus or anyplace where two capacity is more important the above mentioned argument of similar signal strengths at both ends bear more argument.

So far about signal strengths...

Now the Band Steering, where this thread has started at about in the first place....

What is now a good solution? Is it already there? On the horizon?
I need to supply a open air area with tenths of 'tiny houses' that will be used mainly by people working remotely. I need the best coverage indoors, but also outdoors. It has to be state of the art (and should not cost a fortune...)

For indoor use we now supply Tenda Wifi routers with dual radio, band steering, 4X4 multi antenna Mu-Mimo, beamforming etc. device (AC21). Works like a charm. But it is for indoor.
I need something so we can cover some 300 x 300 meters with several houses with only 2, maybe 3, dual radio AP's. Best would be with a roaming setup.
Tenda only has indoor stuff and since I need outdoor coverage for those hovering on the field (its a sort of campus style development) on both 2,4Ghz and 5Ghz.

I'd love ROS and for the NetMetals for instance we have a perfect outdoor solution. But since it seems to still lack many of the above mentioned features that are now becoming common on many other provider of Wifi I am going to be forced to....yeah, to what exactly?

Any suggestions? UBNT? Ruckus? (Good, but costly) And other suggestions?
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:53 pm

I am going to jump into this year(s) old discussion:

1. It has been augmented that the signal coming from the AP should be actually set the same as what signal reaches the AP from the client. Or in other words, both ends should have the same output and since for most mobiles, tablets, laptops etc. is not adjustable and set to 17dBm the AP should be on 17dBm.
But that is only partially true. In setting the AP on a higher signal output its signal reaches the client with a higher signal. Since 90% of internet related traffic is still download direction (to the client) and only live (video) communications need same level up and download capacity, the higher signal at the client will help to sustain higher downloads towards the client. Because we all know that the connection rate and MCS rate depicts the transfer capacity and the signal (S/N in fact) depicts the connection rate/modulation.
And in crowded networks, higher download rates will free the airtime sooner for that particular client than if the download was as slow as the upload. And when the client is done in a shorter time, the overall capacity of the network goes up.....
Off course some clients might now sense that although a download went relatively fast his video conference still sucks.. at the other end (since effected by his crappy upload).
So this is some sort of off set an operator have to make some educated guess what is best.

In crowded spaces with many user that basically only browse, watch youtube, IPTV etc. download is important, so you can set the output of the AP higher to give your network more capacity (up to some point where a micro cell setup should not start interfering with other cells)
But if you need to supply for instance a classroom or campus or anyplace where two capacity is more important the above mentioned argument of similar signal strengths at both ends bear more argument.

So far about signal strengths...

Now the Band Steering, where this thread has started at about in the first place....

What is now a good solution? Is it already there? On the horizon?
I need to supply a open air area with tenths of 'tiny houses' that will be used mainly by people working remotely. I need the best coverage indoors, but also outdoors. It has to be state of the art (and should not cost a fortune...)

For indoor use we now supply Tenda Wifi routers with dual radio, band steering, 4X4 multi antenna Mu-Mimo, beamforming etc. device (AC21). Works like a charm. But it is for indoor.
I need something so we can cover some 300 x 300 meters with several houses with only 2, maybe 3, dual radio AP's. Best would be with a roaming setup.
Tenda only has indoor stuff and since I need outdoor coverage for those hovering on the field (its a sort of campus style development) on both 2,4Ghz and 5Ghz.

I'd love ROS and for the NetMetals for instance we have a perfect outdoor solution. But since it seems to still lack many of the above mentioned features that are now becoming common on many other provider of Wifi I am going to be forced to....yeah, to what exactly?

Any suggestions? UBNT? Ruckus? (Good, but costly) And other suggestions?
Just bought an Aruba IAP-315 @USD 60 from amazon US, nearly the same cost of an cAP ac but with MTBF of 105years, it gonna last forever. Airtime fairness, band steering, k/v/r...... everything you need for a wireless network is just there.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:27 am

Late to this party, but yeah the idea of setting the power output on the AP the same as SM is not a great idea

Signal is not just there or not there, people are saying "the client needs to be able to talk back" yes thats true, but its all about Signal to Noise Ratio, NOT just signal
If client is receiving at -68dbm and AP is receiving at -68dbm thats all well and good but if the noise floor is -75dbm then the experience is shit in both directions
Raise the transmission power so the client receives at -60dbm but AP still seeing -68dbm then their download speed can be tripled (or more) and we don't care about symmetrical upload/download capabilities. And as mentioned before, this frees up the airwaves when client is finished downloading quickly instead of slowly and may mean a netflix stream continues uninterrupted due to the buffer of data already received, instead of eventually running out and stuttering for a few seconds/minutes

It's not just about walking out to the very end of coverage before it drops off and fine tuning exactly at that. It's also about the experience well within the coverage zone
Additionally wifi on-paper almost never perfectly matches the real world. There's often a bit of a black art to it, there are scientific reasons for it but knowing them for sure in the real world is often hard or just impossible to work out on the fly, and shouldn't be expected to. Hence often some vendor implemented 'hacks' actually do massively improve the end-result which at the end of the day is the most important thing. Nobody cares if MikroTik perfectly stuck to 'industry standard recommended practices' if ultimately everyone complains about shit speeds and coverage and you can get a far better experience with an off the shelf TP-Link product

MikroTik seems to take a very 'on-paper' approach to wifi and hence they can't seem to accept the reality that their wifi implementation is very average, they don't seem to investigate what the competition is doing and how they are achieving it
We've had hugely better experiences replacing MikroTik wifi gear which seems on paper to be better, even with some cheap tp-link/asus/netgear products in some instances. Products that by all right shouldn't perform better but do because they've tweaked their implementation to 'just work'. We might care more about the how and why as engineers, but consumers don't give a shit, they just want it to work. I don't want to have arguments with the average joe about "well, if we go back and look at how wifi operates and how its implemented in the operating system,...." when the simple reality is "my [insert consumer device] works far better and costs less" and they are correct
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 1:27 am


Just bought an Aruba IAP-315 @USD 60 from amazon US, nearly the same cost of an cAP ac but with MTBF of 105years, it gonna last forever. Airtime fairness, band steering, k/v/r...... everything you need for a wireless network is just there.
Really???
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Aruba+IAP-315&ref=nb_sb_noss

I see one down the page for $145 and thats the lowest I see?? (but seem suspicious)
https://www.newegg.com/aruba-iap-315-us ... 004D-000X9
https://www.ebay.com/p/19031090081
https://www.provantage.com/hpe-jw813a~7HEWN4PJ.htm

So not sure where you are getting them for $60? Gotta link//////

What I can say is the TPLINK EAP245 I have paid for in the last little while does all that for about $89-99 Cdn.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=tp+link+eap24 ... _sb_noss_2

I also see a tenda ac23 selling on amazon.ca for $99 (no credible reviews yet).
https://www.amazon.ca/Tenda-AC23-Smart- ... ics&sr=1-2
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:05 am

@millenium7 There is also a difference between serving moving clients, 3rd party clients or just running a 'fixed wireless' system.
Where I found years ago that indoor Wifi routers from many 'cheap' brands like TP-Link, Tenda or you name them are nothing worse then a 2 or 4 times more expensive 'brand' router de choice is made quickly. I recently purchased Tenda AC21 Wifi routers and they come with options MT doesn't even dream of yet.... We have some 25 out in the field now and people can throw their repeaters, their 2nd and 3rd Wifi router out of the door! Range is more than doubled, 5ghz devices connect automatically to the 5Ghz radio etc. And that for only 35€!

I need something similar now for outdoor. Now it becomes difficult, the only outdoor units that do the same are from the like o f Aruba, Cisco, Ruckus and they cost way more than ten vold! Some are 4 figures..... Ubiquity seems to have something coming for around 400€, I am going to order a unit for test. Best Mikrotik has is the Netmetal ac2 but then I need extra antennas and still all it has is a Dual radio 2X2 Mu-Mimo. No band steering, no beam forming...

If we look at fixed Wireless. I run a mipsbe Netmetal with a 12dBi OMNI antenna running 36 (!) associated SXT-5ac-sq units and the plan we sell is 'up to 200 mbps'.. I see at times clients downloading with 120 mbps and not really effecting other clients. Done tcp bandwidth tests from 3-4 CPE's at the same time and could push this 'old' Netmetal up to 220-250 mbps aggregated, still 36 associated clients! And all done in plain 802.11ac rts/cts radio setting. 80 Mhz wide band... with some overlap on 2 Mimosa A5's networks at only 300 meters distance.
All Mikrotik's are connected at short range with -40 to -50 dBm signal.
Mimosa works also in 80 Mhz but I seem to have problems getting their clients (C5's) even near 100 Mbps. Only when there is really low overall usage I can push a single client just over the 100Mbps mark.... And this with their tdma.... signals sort of similar as with Mikrotik.

My next move is to replace the mipsbe NetMetal for the new NetMetal ac2. See if the sheer more processing power can boost up the P2MP network even more....
(But yet again, we could really do with a Mu-Mimo solution to server more then only 1 client at the time...)

So it all depends on the nature of the wifi use and setup and how it is fine tuned.
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:11 am


Just bought an Aruba IAP-315 @USD 60 from amazon US, nearly the same cost of an cAP ac but with MTBF of 105years, it gonna last forever. Airtime fairness, band steering, k/v/r...... everything you need for a wireless network is just there.
Really???
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Aruba+IAP-315&ref=nb_sb_noss

I see one down the page for $145 and thats the lowest I see?? (but seem suspicious)
https://www.newegg.com/aruba-iap-315-us ... 004D-000X9
https://www.ebay.com/p/19031090081
https://www.provantage.com/hpe-jw813a~7HEWN4PJ.htm

So not sure where you are getting them for $60? Gotta link//////

What I can say is the TPLINK EAP245 I have paid for in the last little while does all that for about $89-99 Cdn.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=tp+link+eap24 ... _sb_noss_2

I also see a tenda ac23 selling on amazon.ca for $99 (no credible reviews yet).
https://www.amazon.ca/Tenda-AC23-Smart- ... ics&sr=1-2
I just bought a bunch, and installed, Tenda-AC21 routers. The only difference with the AC23 is it has 2 antennas less. But they work like a charm! People that needed repeaters before can ditch them. Those with 5 Ghz enabled devices automatically connect to the 5 Ghz radio and they see for the first time they can really get all out of their 100-150 Mbps we deliver to them at the doorstep by their mobiles/laptops etc.
We have to see about the long term endurance but for the price of just over 30€ I am not too bothered about that. One of the best moves I made recently! (Well, apart from the new A-symmetrice RF elements horns).The plan is to give/sell these AC21's to all of our clients to give them the best Wifi experiences we can deliver....
Show your appreciation of this post by giving me Karma! Thanks.

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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 3:38 am

I just bought a bunch, and installed, Tenda-AC21 routers. The only difference with the AC23 is it has 2 antennas less. But they work like a charm! People that needed repeaters before can ditch them. Those with 5 Ghz enabled devices automatically connect to the 5 Ghz radio and they see for the first time they can really get all out of their 100-150 Mbps we deliver to them at the doorstep by their mobiles/laptops etc.
We have to see about the long term endurance but for the price of just over 30€ I am not too bothered about that. One of the best moves I made recently! (Well, apart from the new A-symmetrice RF elements horns).The plan is to give/sell these AC21's to all of our clients to give them the best Wifi experiences we can deliver....
FYI, MikroTik just added MU-MIMO and Beamforming for Second Gen AC wireless in RouterOS 7 via a brand new wireless stack. Hopefully they are adding Band Steering to this later.
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 12:02 pm

I just bought a bunch, and installed, Tenda-AC21 routers. The only difference with the AC23 is it has 2 antennas less. But they work like a charm! People that needed repeaters before can ditch them. Those with 5 Ghz enabled devices automatically connect to the 5 Ghz radio and they see for the first time they can really get all out of their 100-150 Mbps we deliver to them at the doorstep by their mobiles/laptops etc.
We have to see about the long term endurance but for the price of just over 30€ I am not too bothered about that. One of the best moves I made recently! (Well, apart from the new A-symmetrice RF elements horns).The plan is to give/sell these AC21's to all of our clients to give them the best Wifi experiences we can deliver....
FYI, MikroTik just added MU-MIMO and Beamforming for Second Gen AC wireless in RouterOS 7 via a brand new wireless stack. Hopefully they are adding Band Steering to this later.
And on what devices will that be able to run? Only the ac2 devices? Or also the 'older' mipsbe Netmetals and RB922's?
I have many RB922's out in the fields as AP's with RF-Elements horns. Would be nice if they would have a replacement board coming if ROS7 would not be able to run these new (for MT!) features on their range of boards.....
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:07 pm

And on what devices will that be able to run? Only the ac2 devices? Or also the 'older' mipsbe Netmetals and RB922's?
It's currently only for latest ARM devices with 256MB RAM and 128MB of flash. So only Audience and AC^3 and other newest products, nothing else.
Devices with 16MB of flash will likely never be able to use it, even if the hardware/radio may be capable of it...
 
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 5:30 pm

I just bought a bunch, and installed, Tenda-AC21 routers. The only difference with the AC23 is it has 2 antennas less. But they work like a charm! People that needed repeaters before can ditch them. Those with 5 Ghz enabled devices automatically connect to the 5 Ghz radio and they see for the first time they can really get all out of their 100-150 Mbps we deliver to them at the doorstep by their mobiles/laptops etc.
We have to see about the long term endurance but for the price of just over 30€ I am not too bothered about that. One of the best moves I made recently! (Well, apart from the new A-symmetrice RF elements horns).The plan is to give/sell these AC21's to all of our clients to give them the best Wifi experiences we can deliver....
FYI, MikroTik just added MU-MIMO and Beamforming for Second Gen AC wireless in RouterOS 7 via a brand new wireless stack. Hopefully they are adding Band Steering to this later.
So not even Beta...

Development. (Router OS7)

Yeah I give it a few years before they get that all worked out. Meanwhile the rest of the world would have passed WiFi-6

AC V2 Mu-Mimo was standardized in 2016.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_802.11ac-2013
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Fri Dec 04, 2020 6:10 pm

And on what devices will that be able to run? Only the ac2 devices? Or also the 'older' mipsbe Netmetals and RB922's?
It's currently only for latest ARM devices with 256MB RAM and 128MB of flash. So only Audience and AC^3 and other newest products, nothing else.
Devices with 16MB of flash will likely never be able to use it, even if the hardware/radio may be capable of it...
Meaning we would need a whole network wide hardware change.... might as well go to another vendor in that case...pfff
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sat Dec 05, 2020 12:32 am

Yeah its too little too late
hAP AC1/2 level hardware at a minimum needs to get beamforming and mu-mimo as they are insanely popular and widespread consumer devices
And all AC devices need the bloody spectrum analyzer. I actually don't know why anyone would deploy MikroTik outdoor gear in a business solely due to lack of this, you are flying entirely blind in your implementation and running off hopes and dreams. That's no way to run a WISP

Alternatively just give up on AC feature set entirely and this time put a proper effort into Wifi6 and do it right. Start again but without dragging heels in the sand forever, so that at least in 1 or 2 years time MikroTik can actually be competitive in the wireless space
 
mducharme
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sat Dec 05, 2020 3:59 am

Alternatively just give up on AC feature set entirely and this time put a proper effort into Wifi6 and do it right. Start again but without dragging heels in the sand forever, so that at least in 1 or 2 years time MikroTik can actually be competitive in the wireless space
That is basically what they have done - their new stack is for upcoming wifi6 devices, it was just backported to AC. There is an AX mode but it doesn't work on existing devices because they don't have an AX chip.

I'm wondering of how much of this was caused by the old kernel version they were running. It seems fairly likely that a lot of the Gen2 AC and AX features require a newer Linux kernel than RouterOS 6 could provide. Otherwise, they could have released this new wireless stack in ROS 6.x.
 
WirelessRudy
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:21 pm

Alternatively just give up on AC feature set entirely and this time put a proper effort into Wifi6 and do it right. Start again but without dragging heels in the sand forever, so that at least in 1 or 2 years time MikroTik can actually be competitive in the wireless space
That is basically what they have done - their new stack is for upcoming wifi6 devices, it was just backported to AC. There is an AX mode but it doesn't work on existing devices because they don't have an AX chip.

I'm wondering of how much of this was caused by the old kernel version they were running. It seems fairly likely that a lot of the Gen2 AC and AX features require a newer Linux kernel than RouterOS 6 could provide. Otherwise, they could have released this new wireless stack in ROS 6.x.
Well, the bottom line is; Do we need to exchange hardware to keep up with new technology and is it backwards compatible for clients. And when is this going to happen?

If I can change my AP's but still connect 'legacy' CPE's it gives me time to swap my P2MP network and can spread the investment. If it needs a complete swap of all units at once this make a major investment. If I then have to wait another year or more I might as well invest in other vendor's technology since that is already there (for some parts..)
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Rudy R. Puister

WISP operator based on MT routerboard & ROS.
 
mducharme
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:08 pm

Well, the bottom line is; Do we need to exchange hardware to keep up with new technology and is it backwards compatible for clients. And when is this going to happen?

If I can change my AP's but still connect 'legacy' CPE's it gives me time to swap my P2MP network and can spread the investment. If it needs a complete swap of all units at once this make a major investment. If I then have to wait another year or more I might as well invest in other vendor's technology since that is already there (for some parts..)
Presumably it will be backwards compatible for clients, yes. They haven't specified exactly, but if the new wireless package didn't allow wireless N and wireless AC clients to connect at a minimum, it wouldn't be much use for a WiFi stack. If wireless N and wireless AC phones/laptops can connect, then CPEs should be able to as well. What I would be more uncertain about is NV2/nstreme. I suspect that they wouldn't bother bringing NV2 and nstreme over to the new stack, so existing clients would have to run in 802.11 mode.
 
piku
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sat Feb 20, 2021 2:24 pm

So is there any process since 2016?
 
gotsprings
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:31 pm

So is there any process since 2016?
We progressed to only using Mikrotik for routing... And someone else for Wireless.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
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erlinden
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:48 pm

I think there are not many good working implementations of bandsteering. Besides, any modern device will choose 5G over 2.4G, especially if you tweak the TX power. Any effort on implementing this would be a total waste of time in my opinion. While there are so many other relevant implementations that can be done (which are standardized).
First the problem, then the solution
 
gotsprings
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Sun Feb 21, 2021 9:27 pm

I think there are not many good working implementations of bandsteering. Besides, any modern device will choose 5G over 2.4G, especially if you tweak the TX power. Any effort on implementing this would be a total waste of time in my opinion. While there are so many other relevant implementations that can be done (which are standardized).
Nah

Physics gets in the way. I see a lot of devices connect to the wireless from the driveway. Then if the radio never goes to sleep... It sticks with that wireless AP. As 2.4 "just goes farther". YOU CAN MESS WITH POWER LEVELS. But steering...

Switch vendors.
"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."
Mark Twain
 
atifivacy
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Re: Band Steering implementation?

Thu Mar 04, 2021 1:50 pm

Yes, it's likely to be backwards compatible for clients. They haven't said so, but a WiFi stack wouldn't be much use if the new wireless package didn't allow wireless N and wireless AC clients to connect at the very least. CPEs should be able to connect if wireless N and wireless AC phones/laptops can. NV2/nstreme, on the other hand, gives me pause. I have a suspicion that

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