Cisco Outdoor WiFi 6 AP Catalyst 9124 vs. Aironet 1570 vs. Aironet 1560

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Catalyst 9100 AP is a WiFi 6 access point series of Cisco. We have known its indoor WiFi 6 access points are very useful, such as Catalyst 9105 AP, Catalyst 9115 AP, Catalyst 9117 AP, Catalyst 9120 AP and Catalyst 9130 AP. In March, Cisco released its newest WiFi 6 AP, the outdoor ap C9124AX.

What is the new?

Cisco Catalyst 9124AX Series outdoor access points provide a seamless experience, with high scaling and unmatched performance in diverse network deployments. Going beyond the Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard, the Catalyst 9124AX Series provides integrated security, resiliency, and operational flexibility as well as increased network intelligence.

Table 1 shows the features of Catalyst 9124AX.

Feature Benefits
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) The IEEE 802.11ax emerging standard, also known as High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW) or Wi-Fi 6, builds on 802.11ac. It delivers a better experience in typical environments with more predictable performance for advanced applications such as 4K or 8K video, high-density, high-definition collaboration apps, all-wireless offices, and IoT. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to use both the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands, unlike the 802.11ac standard.
Uplink/downlink OFDMA Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)-based scheduling splits the bandwidth into smaller frequency allocations called Resource Units (RUs), which can be assigned to individual clients in both the downlink and uplink directions to reduce overhead and latency.
Uplink/downlink MU‑MIMO technology Supporting two spatial streams, multiuser multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO) enables access points to split spatial streams between client devices to maximize throughput.
BSS coloring Spatial reuse (also known as Basic Service Set [BSS] coloring) allows the access points and their clients to differentiate between BSSs, thus permitting more simultaneous transmissions.
Target Wake Time A new power-saving mode called Target Wake Time (TWT) allows the client to stay asleep and to wake up only at prescheduled (target) times to exchange data with the access point. This offers significant energy savings for battery-operated devices, up to 3 to 4 times the savings achieved by 802.11n and 802.11ac.
Cisco RF ASIC Cisco RF ASIC is a fully integrated Software-Defined Radio (SDR) that can perform advanced RF spectrum analysis and delivers features such as Cisco CleanAir, Wireless Intrusion Prevention System (wIPS), FastLocate, and Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS).
Bluetooth 5 Integrated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) 5 radio enables location-based use cases such as asset tracking, wayfinding, and analytics.
Multigigabit Ethernet support Provides uplink speeds of 2.5G, 1G, and 100M. All speeds are supported on Category 5e cabling for an industry first, as well as 10GBASE-T (IEEE 802.3bz) cabling.

Catalyst 9124AX provides 3 models:

  • C9124AXI-x: Cisco Catalyst 9124AX Series (internal omnidirectional antenna)
  • C9124AXD-x: Cisco Catalyst 9124AX Series (internal directional antenna)
  • C9124AXE-x: Cisco Catalyst 9124AX Series (External antenna) – Available second half 2021

cisco-c9124ax

However, we should know that C9124AXE-x is unavailable until Summer calendar year 2021. Catalyst 9124AXI-x and 9124AXD-x initially available in US and Canada only. Worldwide availability set for Summer, calendar year 2021.

We know there are other outdoor ap in Cisco wireless family. Let’s compare.

Table 2. Catalyst 9124I vs. Aironet 1562I

Model Catalyst 9124I Aironet 1562I
Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2
Wi-Fi 6? Yes No
Target deployment Small or midsize enterprise Small or midsize enterprise
USB port No No
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Yes No
Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/acW1 No
Data rate 5.38 Gbps Internal
Radio design (Tx-Rx:SS) 4×4 + 4×4:4 No
RF interference avoidance CleanAir Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
Embedded Wireless Controller enabled Yes No
Antenna type Internal omni 1300 Mbps
Modularity support No 3×3:3
Number of radios Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and BLE 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80 MHz (5 GHz)
CISC RF ASIC Yes 3
Combined max data rate 5.38 Gbps 400
MIMO spatial streams 4×4:4 Yes
Channel width 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz) Up to 2 x 1 GE
Concurrent MU-MIMO 4
Max clients 400
Cisco Mobility Express-enabled No
Ethernet support Up to 2.5 X 1 GE

Table 3. Catalyst 9124E vs. Aironet 1562E and Catalyst 9124D vs. Aironet 1562D

Model Catalyst 9124E Aironet 1562E Catalyst 9124D Aironet 1562D
Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2
Wi-Fi 6? Yes No Yes No
Target deployment Small or midsize enterprise Small or midsize enterprise Small or midsize enterprise Small or midsize enterprise
USB port No No No No
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Yes No Yes No
Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax No 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax No
Data rate 5.38 Gbps Dual-band or single-band, software-configurable 5.38 Gbps Internal, directional
Radio design (Tx-Rx:SS) 4×4 + 4×4:4 No 4×4 + 4×4:4 No
RF interference avoidance CleanAir Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) CleanAir Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz)
Embedded Wireless Controller enabled Yes No Yes No
Antenna type External omni or directional dual or single band,software-configurable 867 Mbps Internal, directional 867 Mbps
Modularity support No 2×2:2 No 2×2:2
Number of radios Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and BLE 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80 MHz (5 GHz) Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and BLE 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80 MHz (5 GHz)
CISC RF ASIC Yes 2 Yes 1
Combined max data rate 5.38 Gbps 400 5.38 Gbps 400
MIMO spatial streams 4×4:4 Yes 4×4:4 Yes
Channel width 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz) Up to 2 x 1 GE 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz) Up to 3 x 1 GE
Concurrent MU-MIMO 4 4
Max clients 400 400
Cisco Mobility Express-enabled No No
Ethernet support Up to 2.5 X 1 GE Up to 2.5 X 1 GE

Table 4. Catalyst 9124 vs. Aironet 1572

Model Catalyst 9124I Catalyst 9124E Catalyst 9124D Aironet 1572EC/IC Aironet 1572EAC
Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW1 802.11a/b/g/n/acW1
Wi-Fi 6? Yes Yes Yes No No
Target deployment Small or midsize enterprise Small or midsize enterprise Small or midsize enterprise Midsize to large enterprise Midsize to large enterprise
USB port No No No No No
Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Yes Yes Yes No No
Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/acW1 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax 802.11a/b/g/n/acW2/ax No No
Data rate 5.38 Gbps 5.38 Gbps 5.38 Gbps IC: Internal
EC: External, software-configurable
Dual-band or single-band, software-configurable
Radio design (Tx-Rx:SS) 4×4 + 4×4:4 4×4 + 4×4:4 4×4 + 4×4:4 No No
RF interference avoidance CleanAir CleanAir CleanAir 4 4
Embedded Wireless Controller enabled Yes Yes Yes No No
Antenna type Internal omni External omni or directional dual or single band,software-configurable Internal, directional 1300 Mbps 1300 Mbps
Modularity support No No No 4×4:3 4×4:3
Number of radios Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and BLE Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and BLE Dual (2.4 GHz and 5 GHz) and BLE 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80 MHz (5 GHz) 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80 MHz (5 GHz)
CISC RF ASIC Yes Yes Yes 3 3
Combined max data rate 5.38 Gbps 5.38 Gbps 5.38 Gbps 400 400
MIMO spatial streams 4×4:4 4×4:4 4×4:4 Yes Yes
Channel width 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz) 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz) 20 MHz (2.4 GHz); 20/40/80/160 MHz (5 GHz) Up to 3 x 1 GE Up to 3 x 1 GE
Concurrent MU-MIMO 4 4 4
Max clients 400 400 400
Cisco Mobility Express-enabled No No No
Ethernet support Up to 2.5 X 1 GE Up to 2.5 X 1 GE Up to 2.5 X 1 GE

Obviously, Catalyst 9124AX will be better than its elder brothers. We can look forward to buying one 9124AX this summer!

If you want to buy other WiFi 6 Aps or outdoor Aps, welcome to visit:

WiFi 6 Access Points
Outdoor Access Points 

Related Topics:

Why you should Upgrade to WiFi 6 Routers?

What is WiFi 6E?

5G vs. WiFi 6: Should they have a win-win cooperation?

3 WiFi Solutions of Cisco AP and Controllers

12 Questions You Need to Know about Wi-Fi 6

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