802.11acWhat you should know about 802.11ac
Boasting maximum data rates near 7 Gbps, 802.11ac cranks up the marketing heat for Wi-Fi. The “gigabit” moniker is producing industry buzz, but the product realities may not live up to the expectations.
11ac is a 5 GHz only technology, focusing where unlicensed spectrum is both abundant and generally very clean. Building on existing functionality from 802.11n, the major data rate gains of 802.11ac come (theoretically) from simple protocol extensions like wider channels, more spatial streams, and more efficient modulation. Though the industry is optimistic, real-world gains for enterprises may not match the marketing.
Other enhancements like multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) will provide significant benefits in the face of capacity strain caused by mobile devices—if Wi-Fi infrastructures are built on the right foundation.
Next-generation Wi-Fi can be a challenge—a product upgrade with limited gains—or an opportunity to enhance business productivity. An optimized 802.11ac infrastructure will depend on solid wireless fundamentals, thoughtful radio design, smart antenna systems, and dynamic RF adaptation. Ruckus technologies focus in the right direction by making your 802.11ac upgrade worthwhile; we optimize connections, maximize capacity, and reduce cost at the same time.
802.11ac will come to market in phases. Though first-generation products offer some improvements over 802.11n, second-generation products promise true distinction.
What: Nominally 1.3 Gbps — 256-QAM, 80 MHz channels, 3 spatial streams
What: Nominally 3+ Gbps — MU-MIMO, 256-QAM, 80 and 160 MHz channels, 3+ spatial streams