Cisco Universal AP

An interesting find at one of my customers sites this week…

Cisco has a universal AP product line that address the worldwide regulatory compliance requirements for APs. It allows an administrator to dynamically set the regulatory domain in which the AP will be operating. Regulatory domains define operational standards like available channels, power levels, etc.

This differs from the Cisco Aironet Access Point models which have a fixed regulatory domain. Meaning they are most likely purchase and shipped within your country and come preconfigured to operate and comply with your countries regulatory domain.

Cisco’s Universal APs require priming the AP with the regulatory domain and country for proper use.  This process is actually really easy and kinda fun if you have never done it before. It does require a smartphone with WiFi and GPS capabilities however and Cisco’s AirProvision app.

In my customers case, all of their AIR-AP2702I-UXK9 APs were deployed without being primed. I recognized there was an issue when the APs LED lights were cycling between Red-Green-Off. Jumping into the controller under the ‘Advanced’ tab of the APs I was able to confirm that the Country Code was ‘UX’ and Universal Prime Status was ‘Unprimed’.

Now this find was by complete coincidence because I was on site for a completely difference issue. The customer thought the LED lights were normal and the customer was using the wireless so they didn’t see an issue. The problem went unknown because of this. But, by default an unprimed AP will broadcast its SSIDs only on the 2.4 GHz band, at a lower power level that is acceptable in all regulatory domains and will completely ignore the 5 GHz band until the AP is primed. So your AP is quite trash at this point.

In any case, through the use of the Cisco link below, I was able to prime all of my customers APs by manually priming one of them then turning CDP on it’s radios and CDP on the neighboring APs radios. Through the use of  NDP messages sourced from the manually primed AP, it was able to propagate it’s regulatory domain to it’s neighboring APs.

After you are done you can view the primed status of your APs. The first manually primed AP status will look like this.

The neighboring APs primed status will look like this.




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