Vague Question: If one access point can do the job adequately is there still an advantage to using more than one?
Scenario: 1 access point at the center of your network required coverage area should adequately cover the area. There will always be less than 50 wireless clients and 0 wired clients. Most of the clients will move throughout the required coverage area while in use and some would like to go just beyond the perimeter; but don't have to. A gigabit backbone is available for access points to be placed anywhere. There are neighboring wifi networks, but only horizontally.
Specific Question: In this scenario is there an advantage to using multiple (say 2 ~ 4) access points and placing them near the perimeter of your required coverage area?
My 2 Hypotheses:
Hypothesis 1: With 1 access point at the center of the required coverage area broadcasting on dual bands with 1 channel each it will be easier to find clear channels. Clients will not have to migrate from access point to access point as they move throughout the covered area; possibly dropping the connection momentarily, or just failing to migrate at all. By maintaing a smaller perimeter there is less chance of interference from other neighboring wifi networks and equipment operating in the same band.
Hypothesis 2: With multiple access points near the perimeter of the coverage area more channels should be used; 1 channel for each access point (or should 1 be used for all since it is the same network?) possibly limiting it to 3 non-overlapping channels and 3 access points. Clients may migrate well from access point to access point while moving. They can leave the required perimeter somewhat. Everyone has a stronger signal, a lower chance of dropped packets, etc. Interference may be a bigger problem, especially with neighboring wifi networks.
NOTES: They will all have the same SSID and WPA2 Passphrase, SSID will be hidden and MAC filtering will be used, 802.11n or 802.11ac will be used. I have a clear understanding of networking and I'm not asking how to do this. I'm asking which is better based on scientific evidence. I don't have the budget to a-b test this.
Maybe this is really a question of how well will the clients migrate on their own, or maybe it it's more than that.