Faster Wi-Fi Is On The Way With 802.11.ac ‘Wave 2’ Upgrades

Businesses will be able to take advantage of faster, more reliable wireless connectivity when new chipsets and routers that support Wi-Fi 802.11.ac ‘wave 2’ are available later this year.

‘Wave 2’ provides a significant boost in speed and capacity thanks to the addition of Multi-user Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), four spatial streams and extended 5GHz channel support.

MU-MIMO lets routers send data to multiple devices at once, improving network efficiency and increasing the number of active connections possible without sacrificing speed or performance.

Wi-Fi 802.11ac 2

More 5GHz channels means spectrum is used more efficiently and reduces interference, while maximum channel bandwidth has been doubled from 80MHz to 160MHz, which could allow for double transmission speeds.

The first iteration of Wi-Fi 802.11ac was completed in 2014, allowing devices to receive speeds of 1Gbps. The Wi-Fi Alliance says Wave 2 can deliver a threefold increase in transmission rates.

“In today’s world, people have more Wi-Fi devices per person and per household, and those devices require significantly more bandwidth,” said Edgar Figueroa, CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance updated the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac program to meet increasing user demands and to stay ahead of emerging applications, while preserving interoperability.”

Two thirds of Wi-Fi-enabled devices support both 5GHz and 2.4GHz and by 2020 it is expected 96 percent will be dual band. Wave 2 has the support of industry heavyweights Cisco, Huawei, Intel and Qualcomm among others.

“In adopting the 802.11ac Wave 2 features. Wi-Fi Alliance understands that 802.11ac Wave 2 products are an integral part of the next wave of connectivity and will ultimately make communication faster, easier and far more efficient for customers,” said John Apostolopoulos, CTO for enterprise at Cisco.

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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