Upcoming software changes to meet the new European requirements for 5 GHz RLAN equipment.

New requirements added to ETSI EN 301 893, the European standard for 5 GHz RLAN, including WiFi equipment, will force changes on the software that shall be used on new equipment shipped into the European Union (and other countries following the EU regulation or standards), after 12-Jun-2018.

The changes modify the channel access mechanism to improve coexistence with other RLAN technologies (e.g., LTE-LAA), and will require re-certification of Cisco Access Points, with the modified software used on shipped hardware after June 12th.

  1. What is the impact as a Cisco Customer ?

    For most products, there is no impact on availability for the EU. All products that require software changes for compliance with the new requirements have been re-certified.

    Previous software versions that did not provide compliance with the ETSI standard EN 301 893 v2.1.1, may not be made available anymore. There is no impact on the installed base, provided these products were shipped into the EU prior to June 12. There is no regulatory requirement to upgrade these products.

    For ETSI customers:

    Existing equipment that is installed, in use, or within the distribution chain in the European Union before June 12th, does not need to be updated or changed. After that date, Cisco will only ship equipment compliant with the new requirements and importers and distributors shall ensure to only make compliant equipment available to their customers. Customers may need to upgrade already installed equipment so they can coexist on the same Wireless LAN Controller with new equipment.

  2. What are the changes in the new ETSI standard ?

    The Clear Channel Assessment (CCA) included in EN 301 893 has been revised to better match the mechanism described in IEEE 802.11. This revised mechanism, which has to be used by all technologies (even non-IEEE 802.11), will also ensure coexistence between them.

  3. Do I need to replace my current stock of HW ?

    No, if the equipment resides in a warehouse within the territory of the European Union, or in general within the distribution chain within the territory of the European Union, before June 12, this equipment is not impacted. Those products can be used for new installations at customers’ premises without the need to upgrade these to the latest software.

  4. I am not ETSI customer, but from a different regulatory region, does this affect me ?

    Although this is not affecting other regulatory domains (FCC, APAC, Japan, etc.), software intended for the E-SKU must comply with the new requirements, so older non-compliant software versions for the E-SKU will be removed from Cisco.com. This will impact other domains in terms of specific software versions availability.

  5. How do I know if my APs are impacted by these new requirements ?

    If your AP has a model number ending with a “–E-K9” on it, it is an AP that has to comply with the new ETSI requirement. For example: AIR-CAP3702I-E-K9 or AIR-AP1852I-E-K9.

    When an ‘E’ appears in the SKU number immediately after the model number, this indicates that the device has external antennas, it does not refer to ‘ETSI’. As an example, the AIR-AP1852E-B-K9 is a device for the US market (because of the ‘B’ in the SKU number). This device is not intended for the EU and does not need to be compliant with ETSI. Therefore this is not impacted by these new ETSI requirements.

  6. Can I check regulatory domain from my controller ?

    Yes, you can see which are the countries configured on your controller using the command “show country channels”, and reading the list of countries with their regulatory AP type requirements.If you see a –E on the column between parenthesis below, you have a configuration that is affected by the new ESTI regulatory requirements.

    In this example, Spain country shows as “-E, -E” radio types.

    (3500-1) >show country channels
    Configured Country............................. : ES
          KEY: * = Channel is legal in this country and may be configured manually.
               A = Channel is the Auto-RF default in this country.
               . = Channel is not legal in this country.
               C = Channel has been configured for use by Auto-RF.
               x = Channel is available to be configured for use by Auto-RF.
             (-,-) = (indoor, outdoor) regulatory domain allowed by this country.
        802.11bg     :
        Channels     :                   1 1 1 1 1
                     : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3 4
     ES (-E   ,-E   ): A * * * * A * * * * A * * .
  7. How do I find the regulatory domain for my country ?

    You can use the compliance lookup tool for detailed information.

  8. What happen if I am using an AireOS version that does not have a replacement ?

    You should migrate to one of the new versions, only if new equipment being shipped after June 12 is being installed or added to an existing network. If there are no new hardware added, there is no need to do an upgrade at this time.

  9. I have a 7.x version, will it be updated ?

    Older versions supporting hardware that is End of Life, will not be updated, as they do not support addition of new AP hardware.

    All Access Points supported in 7.6 (when the 2700/3700/1530 series APs were first introduced) are still supported in 8.2. Customers are required to migrate to or later in the 8.2 train to be able to add them to an existing 7.6-based the controller.

    Note: Only customers who buy new AP1552 and AP802 Access points are required to upgrade their network as per section ‘m’.

    In case of doubts, please contact the alias wireless-etsi-update@cisco.com

  10. What happens if I need to access one of the older versions that has been removed ?

    For non-ETSI equipment, customers can open a TAC case to request access to one of the deferred versions.

  11. Why is the software being deferred or removed from Cisco.com ?

    The new requirements/regulation requires manufacturers to this. There is no technical reason that triggered the software removal. For more details on deferral of a specific software version, please check the deferral notice attached to it.

  12. For the software that was removed due to the ETSI compliance requirements, is it still TAC supported ?

    Yes, TAC will support customers running code that was deferred or removed to meet the changes on ETSI regulation.

  13. What are the versions that have the ETSI compliance changes meeting EN 301 893 v 2.1.1 ?

    • The first releases that will meet the requirements for all AP models, except 1550 and 802, will be:

      • AireOS

      • AireOS

      • AireOS

      • AireOS

    • For the following Industrial AP1550 series access points,

      • AIR-CAP1552H-E-K9

      • AIR-CAP1552SA-E-K9

      • AIR-CAP1552SD-E-K9

      • AIR-CAP1552WU-E-K9

      The first releases that will meet the requirements will be:

      • AireOS escalation release

      • AireOS escalation release

      • AireOS

      • AireOS

      Releases, does not have new ETSI support for these hardware types.

    • For the following AP802 access points,

      • C897VAGW-LTE-GAEK9

      • C881WD-E-K9

      • C887VA-WD-E-K9

      • C891FW-E-K9

      • C897VAM-W-E-K9

      • C897VAW-E-K9

      • C819GW-LTE-GA-EK9

      • C819HWD-E-K9

      The first releases that will meet the requirements will be:

      • AireOS escalation release

      • AireOS escalation release

      • AireOS

      Releases,, and do not have new ETSI support for these hardware types.

      These releases can be requested through a TAC case, and they should be used if new units for the mentioned AP models are added to a network after June 12.

  14. Is this applicable to Autonomous Access Points ?

    Yes, this applies to any Access Point of ETSI type (E-SKUs), regardless of operational mode.

  15. Is this applicable to Mobility Express ?

    If the Mobility Express Access Point or any of its associated Aps is ETSI type, yes, this is applicable.

  16. What happens if I need to replace/repair a broken unit that was installed prior to June 12 ?

    Maintenance, service or repair operations are excluded from this requirement. So a broken unit with an older (non-compliant) software version can be replaced with an identical unit (same software version as the broken one). The replacement may have the new software but it is not mandated. So if you have an existing network and you want to replace a broken unit, you can do that without having to upgrade your entire network.

  17. I still have questions, who should I contact ?

    If you have questions related to this regulatory change, or the content of this document, please reach out to wireless-etsi-update@cisco.com

  18. I need to extend my network, do I have to upgrade ?

    Yes, if you are adding new hardware units shipped after June 12, your network/controllers should be updated to one of the images compliant with the new ETSI regulations.

  19. Are all Access Point types affected ?

    No, there are several hardware models that do not need to be updated, as they were already compliant with the new requirements from the moment of introduction:

    • AP2600/3600

    • AP1700/2700/3700

    • AP1570

    • AP1530

    • AP700

    Note: These models do not require a software upgrade to be compliant to the new requirements.

  20. If my network has both 64MB DRAM and 128MB DRAM size Industrial AP1550 series Access Points, what is the recommended upgrade path for this ETSI change?

    Your controllers should be upgraded to 8.3 train ( escalation release or future subsequent releases on this 8.3 train).

  21. If my network has pure 128MB DRAM size Industrial AP1550 series Access Points, what is the recommended upgrade path for this ETSI change?

    Your controllers should be upgraded to either 8.3 train ( escalation release or or 8.5 train ( escalation release or future subsequent releases on this 8.5 train)