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Channel Capacity Estimates

These capacity estimation tables are for reference only. Actual capacity depends on environmental conditions, levels of co-channel interference (CCI) and adjacent channel interference (ACI), client behavior, and quality of wireless network design. You can use predictive survey tools to automate capacity planning. The capacity estimations presented in this section are for a hands-on approach to capacity planning.

These capacity tables only consider 5 GHz capacity. As most wireless LANs also include capacity in the 2.4 GHz band, this results in a built-in capacity buffer provided by the 2.4 GHz band that is typically a small fraction of the capacity in 5 GHz. The size of the 2.4 GHz capacity buffer depends on how clients are distributed across bands and the ratio of 5 GHz spectrum to 2.4 GHz spectrum in use. 

Estimated Max Throughput Capacity - 60 % Max Data Rate

1 Client Active

20 MHz

40 MHz

80 MHz

160 MHz

1 Spatial Stream

52 Mbps

120 Mbps

260 Mbps

520 Mbps

2 Spatial Streams

104 Mbps

240 Mbps

520 Mbps

1.04 Gbps

3 Spatial Streams

173 Mbps

360 Mbps

798 Mbps

1.40 Gbps

4 Spatial Streams

208 Mbps

480 Mbps

1.04 Gbps

2.08 Gbps

This table is for low-density use cases where there is minimal loss (~ 5%) due to contention and the loss caused by signal strength degradation and rate adaptation are estimated to be 20%.

Estimated Low Density Throughput Capacity - 35 % Max Data Rate

1 - 15 Clients Active

20 MHz

40 MHz

80 MHz

160 MHz

1 Spatial Stream

30 Mbps

70 Mbps

151 Mbps

303 Mbps

2 Spatial Streams

61 Mbps

140 Mbps

303 Mbps

607 Mbps

3 Spatial Streams

101 Mbps

210 Mbps

465 Mbps

821 Mbps

4 Spatial Streams

121 Mbps

280 Mbps

607 Mbps

1.21 Gbps

This table is for moderate density use cases where there is moderate loss (~ 8%) due to contention and the loss caused by signal strength degradation and rate adaptation are estimated to be 20%.

Estimated Moderate Density Throughput Capacity - 32 % Max Data Rate 

16 - 30 Clients Active

20 MHz

40 MHz

80 MHz

160 MHz

1 Spatial Stream

28 Mbps

64 Mbps

139 Mbps

277 Mbps

2 Spatial Streams

55 Mbps

128 Mbps

277 Mbps

555 Mbps

3 Spatial Streams

92 Mbps

192 Mbps

426 Mbps

750 Mbps

4 Spatial Streams

111 Mbps

256 Mbps

555 Mbps

1.11 Gbps

This table is for high-density use cases where there is high loss (~ 13%) because of contention and the loss caused by signal strength degradation and rate adaptation is estimated to be 20%.

Estimated High Density Throughput Capacity - 27 % Max Data Rate

31 - 45 Clients Active

20 MHz

40 MHz

80 MHz

160 MHz

1 Spatial Stream

23 Mbps

54 Mbps

117 Mbps

234 Mbps

2 Spatial Streams

47 Mbps

108 Mbps

234 Mbps

468 Mbps

3 Spatial Streams

78 Mbps

162 Mbps

359 Mbps

633 Mbps

4 Spatial Streams

94 Mbps

216 Mbps

468 Mbps

938 Mbps

This table is for very high-density use cases where there is very high loss (~20%) because of contention and the loss caused by signal strength degradation and rate adaptation is estimated to be 20%.

Estimated Very High Density Throughput Capacity - 20 % Max Data Rate

46 - 60 Clients Active

20 MHz

40 MHz

80 MHz

160 MHz

1 Spatial Stream

17 Mbps

40 Mbps

87 Mbps

173 Mbps

2 Spatial Streams

35 Mbps

80 Mbps

173 Mbps

347 Mbps

3 Spatial Streams

58 Mbps

120 Mbps

266 Mbps

469 Mbps

4 Spatial Streams

69 Mbps

160 Mbps

347 Mbps

695 Mbps

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