Since the iPhone 5 was released in 2012, we have had client devices that are capable of operating on the 5ghz channels. So why are we still focusing on devices that are only 2.4ghz capable and degrading the experience for all the 5ghz users?

If you have a device that is newer that 2012, the chances are it has dual band capabilities which means it can operate on the 5ghz band, as well as the 2.4ghz band when it needs to. Whilst this is a great feature on paper, in the real world it is slowing down the user and causing their device to not operate at its peak performance.

If you have a properly designed wireless network, a client should be able to roam around your property seamlessly on 5ghz. But when the client’s device decides to switch by itself to 2.4ghz, it slows down.

Unfortunately, there is no way to turn this off on the user’s devices, but there is a way for us to take control of who uses what frequency, and it’s easier than you may think!

In this example we will use “The Pipers Hotel”. We can take control of our network by separating the frequencies on separate SSID’s. For example SSID #1 would be named “Pipers Hotel Guest” and would be setup only on the 5ghz frequency. SSID #2 would be named “Pipers Hotel Guest (legacy)” and would be setup only to use the 2.4 frequency.

The guests with the Dual band devices, (5ghz and 2.4ghz), would see both networks and choose to join SSID #1.

For the Legacy users, they device will not pick up the SSID #1 as their device is not capable, so they will simply join the legacy network.

With the average customer upgrading their phone every 1-2 years, you will find that a lot less people will use the legacy network than you think, and the people with more current technology will have more of a hassle free experience.

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Jeff R. Owner
With 15 years of experience in the Wireless industry and a focus and passion in the hospitality space. Jeff Rhode has run his own team that creates and manages enterprise grade wireless networks. With properties that are as small as 10 room hotels to 5000 room resorts.