As Fanny said, go the module route, if low volume. I've been in Enterprise 100k-1M/year radio, and support from all of the "big three" is rough, some off-load support for say $40k & ca. $200/hr. thru third parties.
Maybe some mention of chipset focus on consumer wireless (i.e., range vs. throught, and scalingof users/clients) vs. Enterprise/Industrial? Perfect business sense, but essential to be aware of this industry wide dichotomy.
power meters (peak sensor, given complex modulations), one-box tester (combined VSA & VSG, aka LitePoint, Agilent or R & S), VNA (for all detailed RF bard work), Spectrum analyzer, with freq. at least 3x radio band of operation (TX harmonics, spurs, etc.), wideband horn antenna & pre-amp.
Essentially "system integration" of radio modules- naive to expect "turn-key anything at 5 GHz ;-) FEM, LNA, switchs, filters & diplexers used to leverage reference design of chipset vendors. Modules lag chipsets by 1-2 years. Certain chipset vendors, i.,e Atheros, put the 5 GHz outside ther chipset/module, so somewhat forced to "roll your own." Difficult to get support form chipset vendors (understandably) if volumes are below ca. 1M/month. Antenna integration/matching, and conducted vs, radiated (OTA) RF performance are constant issues. Also, regulatory compliance is expensive & time-consuming, esp. if lots of countries involved, & 5 GHz much more "scattered" than 2.4 GHz.
HW RF design: 802.11 abgn & BT in a VoWLAN radio & cutom, small, embedded antenna design for a hand's-free, speech recognition "communications badge" used in health-care, hospitality and oil/gas/mining Enterprise verticals
As we unveil EE Times’ 2015 Silicon 60 list, journalist & Silicon 60 researcher Peter Clarke hosts a conversation on startups in the electronics industry. Panelists Dan Armbrust (investment firm Silicon Catalyst), Andrew Kau (venture capital firm Walden International), and Stan Boland (successful serial entrepreneur, former CEO of Neul, Icera) join in the live debate.