Remember 802.11ac in your Wireless LAN plan

Wireless LAN 802.11ac

Remember 802.11ac in your Wireless LAN plan

Does Your Wireless LAN Strategy Involve 802.11ac?

A couple months ago I wrote a blog discussing 802.11ac vs. 802.11ax, in which I detailed skipping on the 802.11ax upgrade now and ensuring you have addressed the present and future basics of Wireless LAN planning. With all of the talk around 5G Cellular and 802.11ax, it seems the benefits of 802.11ac have been drowned out.

IEEE 802.11ac has really brought to the forefront, the need to understand client density and performance. This is driven a great deal by all of the benefits we stand to gain with 802.11ac.

4 Benefits 802.11ac Brings to Your Wireless LAN Plan

  • 11ac supports more spatial streams resulting in higher capacity throughput. 802.11n supported up to four spatial streams.
  • 11ac provides an update to the modulation resulting in 256 QAM.
  • Wave 1 802.11ac supports up to 1.3Gbps+ PHY rate, which is about 3x the speed of 802.11n. With the introduction of Wave 2 products, performance of 3.47 Gbps or more in the PHY rate is possible.
  • 11ac Wave 1 supports up to 80MHz channels which creates a wider “pipe” to send data packets through, this directly impacts the link throughput. Wave 2 allows for 80-80MHz channels or 160MHz channels, with 802.11n only being able to support up to 40MHz channel widths.

Check out this table from our partners at Cisco comparing 802.11ac Wave 2, Wave 1, and 802.11n:

802.11ac solutionCisco also notes in this white paper that “the 802.11ac standard is an improved version of previous standards, offering higher speeds over wider bandwidths. 802.11ac addresses the density issue that most networks are seeing now or will be seeing soon. With wireless being the primary access to today’s network, the reliance on Wi-Fi continues to increase.”

We know 802.11ax is coming and there will be additional benefits that come along with it. We also know that there are lag and uptake times that will result in slow rolling 802.11ax wireless clients. This means that if you still operate 802.11n, or even 802.11b/g wireless networks, there is a strong case to be made for looking into the 802.11ac wireless technology deployment possibilities.

Check Out a Wireless LAN Technology Deployment in Action

Comm-Works has provided wireless LAN solutions to a global financial services firm and now acts as an extension of the client’s engineering team to provide a seamless transition to the live network. Check out the full case study here.

Heath Blobaum

Manager of Wireless Engineering at Comm-Works

Heath currently serves as the Manager of Wireless Engineering for Comm-Works. He possesses experience in the technology and computer science space, and has over 10 years of experience in the information technology field. He holds his Degree in Computer Science and Networking from Hennepin Technical College in MN and in his spare time, his interests lie in biking, comedy, and spending time outdoors.