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Roaming between Bluesocket and third-party APs

My deployment is primarily Adtran Bluesocket 1920 APs (6.8-09) with a vWLAN controller (V2_4_0_12).   Due to imposed physical restrictions installing Bluesocket APs, we have some ZyXEL NWA5301-NJ APs in pockets of poor reception.  These third-party APs bridge clients onto the same VLANs as the Bluesocket APs.  There is no captive portal; this is a wide open guest network and a second SSID with a PSK.  We are not using the Unified Access feature.

Client handoff between Bluesocket APs is very good.  The handoff between Bluesocket and ZyXEL...not so much.  The clients want to hang on to the Bluesocket association.

Does anyone have any advice on how I can get better handoffs?  Should I decrease the Bluesocket power?  Or increase the minimum transmit rate (currently 5.5Mbps)?  Does the Unified Access feature only pertain to captive portal-like features or are there advantages to using it for my type of setup?

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Re: Roaming between Bluesocket and third-party APs

Unified User Access would not assist in this situation, and here's why. When a client roams, an AP may have buffered traffic for the client. The APs must be able to move buffered traffic to another AP, but the original AP may not know where the client roamed to. The controller assists in this regard, and since 3rd party APs are not controlled by vWLAN, the original BSAP is not sure where to send the buffered traffic.

For your application, are you using the same SSID(s) on the Bluesocket and 3rd party equipment? If so, power settings may help. It is a client decision to roam, and clients tend to compare RSSI values to trigger a roaming event. When the RSSI value for the original AP hits a certain threshold, the client will look at the signal strength from other nearby APs. So again, power settings are always good to examine when roaming issues are present.

The minimum transmit rate can also help. Effectively, the BSAP will remove any client that cannot maintain a certain data rate. Since most clients use dynamic rate shifting to account for poor signal quality, you can be fairly certain that a client that should likely roam but has not will have a low data rate. This is another good setting to look at, however, it does not currently apply to the BSAP 1920 models.