There are many sayings in the wireless world and probably one of the most common and important is "speed is king". It’s one of the most sought after commodities of the digital age and for good reason.
Today’s businesses and organizations can't afford to be held back or slowed down by an outdated or obsolete wifi infrastructure.
The latest revision "wave 2" of 802.11ac has expanded on the gigabit speeds found in "wave 1" making it even faster and more capable of offering the connectivity your business needs to stay ahead of the competition.
Another huge feature is MU-MIMO, which dedicates bandwidth on a per-user basis. The proliferation of mobile devices means there's much more competition for shared Wi-Fi bandwidth.
MU-MIMO will help your Wi-Fi networks scale, improve data transmit times, and increase capacity by allowing APs to utilize multiple streams that can reach multiple clients simultaneously.
Wave 2 is still relatively new and there are very few mobile devices if any, that would require an 11ac wave 2 deployment.
Eventually, however, more products will become available and business demands will eventually create a reason to consider a move to this new, higher performing standard.
The first step in any successful wireless network is to understand what's possible, this will allow you to make better decisions when it comes to creating the right wifi network for your specific environment.
To help you do this, we've put together these 3 reasons why 802.11ac wave 2 is the wireless standard you wish you had.
Maximize Your Investments
However, this contention is shortsighted.
The replacement cycle on APs is 18 to 24 months. If you’re upgrading your wireless network now, Wave 2 APs will cost about 10% more but the extra premium will allow you to skip the next cycle.
So ultimately, you would be saving more for the added investment.
Device Support Coming Soon
The reality is you will not be able to utilize the benefits of Wave 2 just yet as there aren't any Wave 2-compliant devices as of the moment.
However, devices that will have the Wave 2 technology are expected to come out in 2016.
So you should upgrade to a wireless network that can not only support these new devices but can maximize your entire wireless network, rather than being forced to do so later when your users are already suffering from a slower, frustrating experience.
Growth In Connected Devices
The Internet of Things will see almost all devices connected through your wireless network. In the next few years, badge readers, doors, office equipment, medical devices, and practically everything else will be connected.
In fact, Gartner forecasts that we will see 4.9 billion connected things by year-end, with the number hitting 25 billion by 2020.
“The digital shift instigated by the Nexus of Forces (cloud, mobile, social and information), and boosted by IoT, threatens many existing businesses. They have no choice but to pursue IoT, like they’ve done with the consumerization of IT,” said Jim Tully, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner.
With more technology looking to leverage our wireless networks, there will be greater expectations placed on Wi-Fi. It will be wise for you to take a progressive approach with Wave 2.
Suggested Reading: "3 Essential Elements for Designing a Successful Wireless Network"
So, the question remains, is 802.11ac Wave 2 a possible solution for your wifi strategy? If you’re thinking about how you just upgraded to wave 1, or your Wi-Fi is meeting your current goals you're probably perfectly fine fine tuning what you already have. But if you're struggling and your environment needs the absolute best in performance and security wave 2, although expensive might be your best option.
Let’s be honest, there is nowhere for mobile expectations and data usage to go than up, with users and new devices demanding more and more.
At SecurEdge we've been helping businesses of all sizes and types to deliver robust, secure wireless solutions for their staff and customers. If you have any questions about upgrading your wireless network or would like to discuss 802.11ac Wave 2 further, simply contact us here, we’d be glad to help.