SHARE



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Gary Audin
Gary Audin is the President of Delphi, Inc. He has more than 40 years of computer, communications and security...
Read Full Bio >>
SHARE



Gary Audin | August 19, 2012 |

 
   

802.11ac: Another Wireless Standard to Adopt

802.11ac: Another Wireless Standard to Adopt The standard offers theoretical speeds ranging from 6.5 Mbps to 866.7 Mbps.

The standard offers theoretical speeds ranging from 6.5 Mbps to 866.7 Mbps.

There is always another standard coming. This one focused on high throughput wireless networks. It is the IEEE standard 802.11ac, a member of the 802.11 family. Some are calling 5GWi-Fi others Next Gen Wi-Fi. The new standard brings innovations and issues to the wireless networking world.

So what makes this new standard attractive?

* It can deliver speeds three times greater than 802.11n networks.
* The design reduces the number of dead spots within its transmission range.
* It can support streaming media very well, enabling HD video and large file backup.
* It delivers more bandwidth to mobile devices.
* It is designed to be backward compatible to 802.11a and 802.11n networks operating in the 5Ghz frequency band.

This standard uses beamforming technology. Beamforming, also called spatial filtering, is a technique for signal processing used in antenna arrays for directional signal transmission/reception. This is an improvement when compared to the common form of omnidirectional transmission and reception used in existing wireless networks. Beamforming is in the 802.11n standard but it was implemented in very few products.

The standard offers 10 combinations of modulation, coding rates and channel sizes from 20 MHz to 160 MHz. This produces theoretical speeds ranging from 6.5Mbps to 866.7Mbps. These speeds do not account for protocol overhead. As with previous wireless technologies, these theoretical rates are under ideal conditions and will probably not be the real throughput rates. It is likely that the delivered speeds will be 30% to 50% the theoretical speed.

Although the standard is still in draft form, there are 12 chipsets on the market from 6 vendors. There are even some wireless routers on the market supporting 802.11ac. These appear to be based on the second draft, not the third draft that is now in progress. What this means to compatibility with draft 3 I could not determine. So far no compatibility problems have surfaced. The final standard will probably be issued in late 2013.

One of the hardware problems is supporting 802.11ac on existing laptop. A USB adapter for the laptop is needed but such a product is yet to be offered. Expect that new laptops will have 802.11ac included in their design. Another product that will be needed are wireless bridges that can connect older wireless networks to 802.11ac networks.

The speeds of 802.11ac will mean that the access points (AP) will have to have 1Gbps connections back to the switches and routers. Another issue is the Power over Ethernet required. It is most likely that each AP will require about 30 watts, the limit that the 802.1at PoE standard delivers. So the enterprise has to buy new switches or power supplies or power injectors. The wireless network staff will need to perform a new site survey before 802.11ac is implemented.

Information about the introduction of 801.11ac products can be found at Network Computing in the article "Reality Check on the 802.11ac Wireless Standard". The current status of the IEEE standard as of July 2012 can be found at the IEEE site, "Status of Project IEEE 802.11ac".





COMMENTS



August 16, 2017

Contact centers have long been at the leading edge of innovation in communications technology, given their promise of measurable ROI and the continual need to optimize customer interactions and sta

July 12, 2017

Enterprises have been migrating Unified Communications & Collaboration applications to datacenters - private clouds - for the past few years. With this move comes the opportunity to leverage da

May 31, 2017

In the days of old, people in suits used to meet at a boardroom table to update each other on their work. Including a remote colleague meant setting a conference phone on the table for in-person pa

August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular BlogGeek.me blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.