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Access point power level is maximum with good RSSI


I have a cisco controller 5520 with more than 300 access points joining it, I found that most of the access points like 250 out of 300 are working on the maximum power level 1 on 5g band only, while on 2.4 bands the power level is within normal levels, the power is set to auto 

I checked random clients attached to those Access points I found that they are getting a very good signal with RSSI above 60dbm and SNR above 30 

coverage hole detection values are all set to default -80


Any recommendation that might cause the Access point to radiate on power level 1 on the 5G band only?



VIP Advisor

You can check the neighbors, if you have enabled DCA. DCA is the part that does the channel-power adjustment and needs/should be enabled on 2.4 and separately on 5 GHz. If the DCA algorithm doesn't see the neighbor APs with a strong enough signal (can happen with some antennas or very high ceiling, for example) they are set to full power.
So first, check your DCA settings for 5 GHz.
How is the channel load on a busy day?
Are you using mostly 20 MHz?


The DCA is enabled on both band and also set to auto, I am using  channel bonding of 40Mhz on the 5g band 

Then it's well possible that you have enough channels and wide enough spacing between the APs to run at full power.

Do you actually have a problem in the network, like high channel load or very slow speeds?

Till now (this is a new implementation) nothing was reported as slowness or  bad performance, but it is a bit confusing for me why the access points are working on the highest power level although the distance between access points are not that far 

Leo Laohoo
VIP Community Legend

The only reason why the WLC has automatically set full power to 5.0 Ghz is because there is not "enough" co-channel interference to warrant the power to be scaled back.
Haydn Andrews
Rising star

First question I have is what was the wireless requirements that it was designed to? Was there a requirement for -60 RSSI?


When I design the wireless I design it at power levels normally around 25mW (based on clients i am using). I then us RF profiles to limit the power the APs can auto tune to to one or 2 above and below this after I have verified the deployment.


DCA and TPC will be setting the power to power level 1 as it is not seeing the 5GHz neighbours close enough. 

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The wireless design was designed on -67db during the predictive survey, the APs were also placed on the lowest power levels (10W) during the survey 


"DCA and TPC will be setting the power to power level 1 as it is not seeing the 5GHz neighbors close enough."

so do you see if there is no performance issue reported, that will be good from a design perspective?  what should be the best power levels for the AP to guarantee that there is no interference and no coverage holes as well 

That's up to the wireless design/site survey. This actually depends on the used AP and antenna and varies wildly between different structures.
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