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*Image Source: Tom’s Hardware

The 802.11ac is now the standard for wireless. The 802.11ac standard now specifies WLANs running exclusively in the 5GHz band, so it will be backward-compatible with 802.11n devices running at 5GHz. 802.11ac  is expected to offer dramatic improvements in Wi-Fi reliability, throughput and range. The rollout of new IEEE 802.11ac devices will take between one and three years. By 2015, according to experts, all new Wi-Fi products coming to market are expected to be based on 802.11ac technology.

Even as we anticipate significant performance improvements across the dimensions we also expect that enterprise-class vendors will take advantage of the release of 802.11ac to introduce advances in their overall system architectures and implementations. Elements such as AP and WLAN system architecture and management will be just as important to organizational success as basic technologies like 802.11ac. For example, while it’s possible to add-on an 802.11ac radio to some 802.11n access points, the best price/performance and perhaps even the best performance overall is much more likely to be achieved with enterprise-class products engineered end-to-end for 802.11ac.

Why are we moving towards this 802.11ac

#1 – SPEED

In addition to devices running at 5GHz there are other reasons fueling the development and industry progress:

INCREASE IN USERS – We’re hearing the BYOD space exploding with users through corporate networks as employees & as guests. Simplistically, there are just more users creating more traffic adding to the loads.
MULTIPLE DEVICES – Not only are there more users out there, but they are using more than 1 device. Today with the multiple types of devices used by one person it leaves the enterprise taking in new design considerations.
APPS – Consider the apps made available to us today. We have video conferencing, live streaming of music, webinars, movies, etc. These apps are consuming bandwidth at a higher rate driving for lower-speed data transfers.
CELL PHONE COMPANIES OFFLOADING –  Cellular carrier companies are attempting to move WAN traffic to wi-fi to create less cellular traffic jams.



With the developments for 802.11n being ironed out in its own developmental stages it’s no surprise that 802.11ac is here with a major advancement.

Here’s what 802.11n and 802.11ac have in common:

Channel Bonding
Multiple Input, Multiple Output (MIMO)
Air time Fairness

Getting together an Action Plan for 802.11ac

As the requirements for 802.11n are well-established today, many organizations will continue to support 802.11n as they introduce 802.11ac, and the 2.4GHz radios in their 802.11n infrastructures will continue to serve the 2.4GHz clients. AB&R can help you develop an action plan for important activities required to prepare for the eventuality of 802.11ac for the enterprise to begin deployment and the evolution of what has become the default and even primary access for many if not most users in organizations everywhere.


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