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How to Increase Basic Rate Set on 802.11g APs


The Beacons from our APs are consuming all the bandwidth in a particular neighborhood's airspace. Removing APs is not an option.

These 802.11b/g/n access points broadcast beacons at 1Mbps. We thought that if we turned off the 802.11b and used 802.11g (only) then the access points would broadcast their beacons at 6Mbps. This is not the case and if you read the 802.11 specifications you will see this is the intended manner for the APs to operate. The APs continue to beacon at 1Mbps


I want to know where I can configure the Basic Rate Set on 802.11g access points so that the Beacons broadcast at 6Mbps? Please assume Cisco APs and Wireless Controllers.


Thank you in advance!



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Hall of Fame Master

Beacons are sent on the

Beacons are sent on the lowest configured mandatory data rate set. So if you disable 1-11mbps data rates and you use 24mbps as mandatory and the others as supported, then beacons are sent at 24mbps. Making adjustments to the data rates along with TX power can help control the size of the RF cell. This also helps with roaming and distribution of clients in a given area is done properly. Clients do have to be able to negotiate with the AP at the lowest mandatory rate in order to successfully join that AP.  Hope this helps.


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Thanks, Scott! From the CLI

Thanks, Scott!


From the CLI of the WLC:


(wlc1.wifi) config>802.11b rate mandatory ?


<rate>         Enter a rate of either 1, 2, 5.5, 11, 6, 9, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48 or 54

Hall of Fame Master

That is correct. You would do

That is correct. You would do this on both the 2.4ghz and 5ghz, with the understand that the 2.4ghz has better coverage distance to being less prone to attenuation. You set you mandatory and then your supported, but the lowest supported will determine the lowest rate your devices will be able to associate to that radio. I usually set two mandatory rates, because the highest is for multicast (54mbps), but that is how I tend to set my rates. 


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