Was just wondering if anyone has any insight into this. I have an issue with IPADs roaming when connected to a specific SSID in a large campus network design. The APs are managed via a WLC from HP. I know when you lock the screen and reconnect at a diff AP you have the issue of the IOS trying to reconnect to the mac of the last AP - however the problem exists without the screen locking. It takes the Ipad several seconds (<10) to find the new AP and use it. I have deactivated band steering (this would try and force the AP to use 5GHz and takes ages..) for the specific SSID and have mapped it to all AP. Perhaps someone has other ideas?

  • we have to live with the solution apple offers us. As engineers it si our job to make it work ;) As mentioned in the comment to the other answer I believe it is a problem with auth locally on the AP. Everytime the Ipad jumps to a new AP it needs to reauth - it should do this on the controller. I will look into this. On cisco infrastructures one can set auth at controller.
    – Max
    Jun 28, 2013 at 6:51
  • Something occured to me tonight, does this problem happen if the iPad "wakes up" close to a new AP? Jun 29, 2013 at 3:26
  • Hi Mike, This is a known problem with IPADs. When the IPAD goes into sleep mode or you simply lock it it deactivated the WLAN Adapter to conserve Battery. When you turn it back on the Adapter still thinks it is to connect to the old AP and can take several seconds before realising the old AP is not there and that it should go to the new AP. This scenario gets even worse when you have authentification that needs to take place again.
    – Max
    Jul 1, 2013 at 8:58
  • Did any answer help you? if so, you should accept the answer so that the question doesn't keep popping up forever, looking for an answer. Alternatively, you could provide and accept your own answer.
    – Ron Maupin
    Aug 8, 2017 at 9:55

1 Answer 1


There's quite a few issues that can cause things like this to happen. I've had a quick look around and apparently there's a common issue with iPhone/iPads roaming where your authentication is WPA+WPA2. You want to set either WPA2/AES or WPA/TKIP.

If you can get on the controller, I would run debug (I don't know with HP WLCs) to try and ascertain whether the iPad is disconnecting from the WLAN entirely, or if the connection is dropping, but it remains associated.

Other than that, run through the basics, make sure its not the iPad acting up by testing it somewhere else, preferably on a different WLAN (probably not possible), make sure no other devices are suffering from the same problem.

Sorry I can't be more specific, but I've not used any of the HP WLCs before.

  • Hi, Thanks for this. The HP Infrastucture does authentification locally on the AP and not on the controller. That means the Ipad needs to reauth every time it jumps to a new AP. I am trying to find a way to allow auth on WLC, but it is not a very well supported feature on the MSMs we are using.
    – Max
    Jun 28, 2013 at 6:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.