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
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