|Aruba's new AP-207, AP-304/305|
The AP-207 also features an integrated low-energy bluetooth (BLE) radio, so it's ready to participate with location service beacon solutions like Meridian. The AP-205, in contrast, is capable of rocking a dedicated radio for spectrum analysis. Personally, I'd rather pay $300 less for a BLE-ready access point.
Aruba didn't stop with the AP-207's though. They have also announced a new 802.11ac Wave 2 model that's easier on IT budgets. The AP-304/305 is a 3x3 Wave 2 unit that weighs in at a relatively gentle $695 MSRP. These APs offer Multi-user MIMO, 80 MHz channel widths and integrated BLE.
Currently, only campus versions of these new APs are available - meaning you'll have to pick up a separate virtual controller or hardware appliance to use them. They also only run on AOS 6.5. However, Aruba plans to have Instant flavors (autonomous APs that don't require a controller) available in the first quarter of 2017 with compatibility for AOS 8.0.
We're also crossing our fingers for the 5-4-3 "WiFi Without Worries" Aruba promotion to be extended past its current Oct. 31 expiration date. This special promotion for customers new to Aruba grants two free Instant access points of the same or lesser value model when you purchase three (literally, five for the price of three). It can also be tapped twice in the same order for up to four free APs. If that promo is extended into 2017 when the Instant AP-207's become available, IT managers who have shied away from Aruba in the past due to sticker shock will do well to take another look.
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