Cisco Catalyst CW9166D1 Access Point

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The Cisco Catalyst CW9166D1 is very similar to the Cisco CW9166I – internal hardware features and functionality are essentially the same as the Catalyst CW9166I with a few features added that we will discuss later in this paper. The take-way is that the CW9166I has an omni-directional antenna and the CW9166D1 has an integrated directional antenna array.

This internal directional antenna differs slightly from previous directional AP products that used external (removeable) antennas. This is due mostly to regulatory constraints placed upon products operating using 6 GHz (Wi-Fi 6E) especially when the product covers the entire 6 GHz spectrum, and when the desire is to focus the AP’s energy into a given direction.

Low Power Access Points such as the Catalyst CW9166D1 can operate in the entire spectrum of 6 GHz, and as such must comply with regulatory agency rules in different countries (theaters) that often specify that products covering a large spectrum in 6 GHz must be for indoor use only with an integrated antenna and cannot have any external attached antenna or have weather-resistant enclosures.

Products with a limited spectrum coverage may support external antennas and be used outdoors but due to the limited spectrum coverage mostly UNII-5 and UNII-7 – it makes sense to integrate the directional antenna into the CW9166D1 allowing it the most flexibility and spectrum coverage for indoor use.

CW9166D1 is a Cisco Wi-Fi 6E access point platform, with a penta-radio architecture providing the full capability of 802.11ax, such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA), multiuser multiple-input multiple-output (MU-MIMO), Target Wake Time (TWT), BSS Coloring, overlapping BSS packet detection (OBSS-PD), and Wi-Fi Protected Access 3 (WPA3), all while being able to leverage advanced RF visibility with Cisco CleanAir® Pro together with an artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML)-driven scanning radio.

The Catalyst CW9166D1 when operated in with the Cisco Catalyst Wireless LAN controller supports the entire Cisco Catalyst wireless stack functionality with Cisco Catalyst Center (Automation and Assurance), Cisco Spaces (formerly Cisco Catalyst Spaces) (location and IoT), Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) (security), and more.


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