Wi-Fi Alliance is expanding Wi-Fi Certified ac to include new features that enable a higher-performance mobility experience. New wave 2 features enable Wi-Fi to more efficiently handle high-bandwidth applications from an increasing number of smartphones, tablets, TVs, and other consumer electronics devices simultaneously connected to Wi-Fi networks. Wi-Fi Certified ac delivers greater network capacity and multi-gigabit speeds that will benefit consumers, service providers, and enterprises.
MU-MIMO is among the most anticipated new features of Wi-Fi Certified ac, allowing more devices to operate on the same network at the same time without sacrificing speed or performance. In addition to increased network capacity enabled with MU-MIMO, devices supporting all new features are capable of achieving up to three times the speed of devices supporting only original features. A full list of wave 2 features include:
- MU-MIMO: Networks with MU-MIMO are capable of multitasking by sending data to multiple devices at once rather than one-at-a-time, improving overall network efficiency and throughput
- 160 MHz channels: Wi-Fi Certified acincreases the channel bandwidth from 80 MHz channels to 160 MHz channels, doubling speeds
- 4 spatial streams: Device speeds are proportional to the number of spatial streams. Wi-Fi Certified acadds support for 4 spatial streams, up from original support for 3 spatial streams.
- Extended 5 GHz channel support: Wi-Fi Certified acmakes more efficient use of 5 GHz, extending channel availability which results in less interference and fewer overlapping networks
“Wi-Fi Certified ac enables a greater user experience by maximizing Wi-Fi network resources and enabling the full potential of the technology,” said Phil Solis, research analyst, ABI Research. “Wi-Fi Alliance programs help proliferate products into the market, and we expect an increasing number of data intensive devices support the new features for Wi-Fi Certified ac.”
Wi-Fi Certified ac was the first version of Wi-Fi to break the gigabit barrier and facilitate a shift to utilization of the 5 GHz band. Now, more than sixty-eight percent of devices operating in both 2.4 and 5 GHz are dual band. With the launch of a Wi-Fi Certified interoperability program and increased support for wave 2 features by a variety of mobile devices and access points, ninety-five percent of devices will be dual band by 2020. Access points supporting wave 2 features are expected to dominate the market within the next five years.