Introducing New 802.11ac Access Points with Beacons

New APs include three WiFi radios and a dedicated Bluetooth radio for Beacons

We are very excited to introduce two new wireless access points, the Cisco Meraki MR32 and MR72. They are dual–band, 2×2 802.11ac APs and include integrated Beacon (Bluetooth Low Energy) technology. Beacons enhance location capabilities and enable more active customer engagement, such as with iBeacons, and with the MR32 and MR72 there’s no need to deploy dedicated iBeacon hardware. The new APs also include the rich, cloud-managed feature set common to the entire Meraki wireless portfolio and feature the dedicated security radio technology found in other Meraki APs.

New Meraki MR32 and MR72

New Meraki MR32 and MR72

The new Meraki MR32 and MR72 APs

WiFi, Security, and Bluetooth Together

The new APs feature three integrated WiFi radios. The APs include one radio each for:

  • 2.4 GHz, for 802.11b/g/n clients
  • 5 GHz, for 802.11ac and 802.11a/n clients
  • dedicated security and automated RF optimization (see this post for more on the benefits of this radio)

They also include new Beacon (Bluetooth Low Energy, or BLE) technology via an integrated Bluetooth radio, for applications such as iBeacon and other location services. There’s no need to place the AP into a dedicated Bluetooth mode —all four radios (WiFi and Bluetooth) operate simultaneously.

Integrated Beacons

New Beacon technology, based on BLE, enables applications that more actively engage your on–site visitors and customers. Beacons broadcast periodic advertisements over Bluetooth. Visitors’ devices hear the advertisements and trigger opt–in location services, such as a push notification on a smartphone or indoor navigation assistance. iBeacons, Apple’s opt–in form of BLE, enable such services and are integrated into the MR32 and MR72. Beacon–enabled services add to the rich location capabilities already available on the Meraki APs through CMX (Connected Mobile Experience).

 

New outdoor goodies

The MR72 looks very similar to the MR32, but its sleek looks hide rigorous environmental credentials. It’s designed to withstand extreme temperature ranges, from -40°F to 140°F (-40°C to 60°C) and earned an IP67 rating due to its high degree of resistance to dust and water. Along with the new MR72, we’re introducing four new exterior antennas:

  • omni–directional, dual–band (pair)—provides broad coverage for general purpose applications
  • Sector antenna, 2.4 GHz—provides narrow–width coverage or point–to–point mesh connectivity between wireless APs
  • Sector antenna, 5 GHz—provides narrow–width coverage or point–to–point mesh connectivity between wireless APs
  • Dual-band patch antenna (2.4 and 5 GHz)—provides directional coverage for general purpose applications
sector-antenna_front-left

New Meraki sector antenna

New Meraki sector antenna

We’ll have more information about the new antennas in a blog post next week.

Learn More

The MR32 is available now and the MR72 (and new antennas) will be available in January 2015. You can learn more about these new APs and the integrated Beacon technology during a special webinar next week. You can also check the wireless product page to compare specs of the Meraki APs to see which might be the right fit for your environment. We can’t wait for you to try one out.