Cisco WLC 5508 License Gotcha ! (12 AP WLC can only support 487 APs)

Did you know ? If you purchased a Cisco 5508 WLC with a 12 access point license you just limited yourself to 487 access points?

The Cisco 5508 is licensed based which means you can add access point licenses as your wireless grows. The Cisco 5508 allows a maximum of 500 access points. This is a new model for Cisco Wireless Lan Controllers.The now legacy 2000,2100,4400 and WISM1 were licensed by the hardware itself.

You can purchase Cisco 5508 WLC with a 12,25,50,100,250 or 500 access point capacity. Or you can purchase what Cisco calls adder licenses in the quantities of 25,50,100, and 250 access points after the fact.

The license limitation becomes an issue with your initial purchase of a 5508 with a 12 access point license.

Since Cisco only resells 25,50,100 and 250 access point licenses the MAX you will ever get on your WLC is 487 access points.


Note: A 5500 Series WLC with a base license of 12 can only support up to 487 total APs because only 25, 50, 100, and 250 adder licenses are supported.



Understanding Cisco 5508 Wireless LAN Controller Licensing


p.s. Thanks Patton for the link!



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George Stefanick

George Stefanick


  1. January 2, 2012 at 12:36 pm — Reply

    Speak to your local Cisco account manager and have them contact the WLC Product Manager. There used to be a process to bump you up to 500 if you reached that 487 AP limit. I trust it still exists.

    • January 2, 2012 at 12:39 pm — Reply

      Thanks Vic! We were wondering about that when we were talking about it the other day. We thought there had to be a process to do that.

  2. January 2, 2012 at 12:57 pm — Reply


    I think we all assumed so. It would be best to have the Understanding “Cisco 5508 Wireless LAN Controller Licensing” updated.

    • January 3, 2012 at 12:47 pm — Reply

      I like it and agree. I’ve reached out to PM team for a response or clarification.

  3. Patton
    January 9, 2012 at 11:26 am — Reply

    I was told by Cisco TAC that 487 was a hard limit for the 12 license controller. If there is a way around it I would definitely like to know.

  4. January 10, 2012 at 9:09 am — Reply

    In WLC old models (21xx 25xx) there are limitations of number of users connected. In the case of WLC 5508 there are limit of users by license?

    • January 11, 2012 at 10:10 pm — Reply

      There are no client limits based on license types. A 5508 for example can support up to 7000 clients.

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