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The New IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard

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Dave Hoxie

on 19 April 2016

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Transcript of The New IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard

The question of the adoption of 802.11ac isn’t if, but when, and with what strategies used.
802.11ac Will Eventually and Entirely Replace 802.11n In All Applications
The New IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard
Spent two years in committee
802.11ac capable devices will be common by 2015
Initial WAVE 1 expectations include:
At least
1 Gbps
multi-station throughput
At least
500 Mbps
single link throughput
802.11ac Ratified by IEEE in January 2014
unlicensed spectrum only
Wider radio channels -
80 and 160 MHz
Aggressive modulation -
256 QAM
built upon proven MIMO technologies
Increased number of
spatial streams
Standardized Beam Forming
- provides more reliable connection between a Tx and a given Rx
New 802.11ac Capabilities
Are Built On Those Affirmed Under The 802.11n specification
Benefits of 802.11ac
When does it make sense to
deploy 802.11ac?

Decision factors include:
Current network utilization trend
Bugetary timeframe
Logistical timeframe
Local 802.11ac client adoption rate
802.11ac Deployment
Planning Logistics for 802.11ac Deployment
Forecast timeline for key 802.11ac developments. Source: Farpoint Group
Projected 802.11ac Timeline
Continue deploying 802.11n and
wait for WAVE 2
of 802.11ac
802.11ac Deployment Scenarios
Throughput vs 802.11n
Source: Farpoint Group
Hundreds of 802.11ac capable Products Currently Certified By The Wi-Fi Alliance (http://www.wi-fi.org):
All Apple Laptops, HTC One, Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet and Galaxy S4 Smartphone (approx. 40 million sold as of December 2013)
Unlicensed 5GHz Wi-Fi Channels
Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) is mandated by the FCC in the 5470-5725 MHz U-NII band primarily for avoiding weather radar on channels 120 thru 132 (IEEE C-Band)
Single User vs Multi-User MIMO
(Multiple Input Multiple Output)
Uses multiple antennas to coherently resolve more information than possible using a single antenna.
802.11ac encoding enhanced from 64 to 256 QAM encoding quadruples density for transmission.
MU-MIMO allows simultaneous downstream Tx of different four-stream clients on the same channel.
(Avail. in WAVE 2)

Up to three antennas and streams today (WAVE 1)
Up to eight antennas and streams in the future - 2015 (WAVE 2)

Each stream supports up to 433 Mbps - three times more per stream than 802.11n.
Defined Spatial Streams

Higher performance
versus 802.11n products
Improved station
battery life
- Coming -

WAVE 2 devices with support
for 160 MHz channels,
four-plus spatial streams, and
MU-MIMO in 2014 and 2015

Improved location
and tracking (RTLS)

due to:
More robust inherent
radio signals
Relatively dense deploy-
ments of APs
Planning Strategies for 802.11ac Deployment
Overlay onto existing Wi-Fi
(A) power user locals,
(B) high density / demand locals and
(C) new deployment / greenfield locals
Replace existing Wi-Fi
with new 802.11ac which allows for 5 GHz optimization and support for 802.11g/n at 2.4 GHz
Ensure hardwired cabling to the APs can support 1 Gbps data rates (
CAT6 or CAT6a
). Note: May need 2 cables for WAVE 2
Use PoE to reduce costs. Many vendors WAVE 1 APs support
PoE (802.3af)
but WAVE 2 products may require
PoE+ (802.3at)
for full feature functionality
80 MHz
wide channels to maximize 802.11ac benefits
Prepare a wired network assessment to determine CAT6 and 1 Gbps PoE switch needs for 802.11ac
Analyze dense deployment areas for capacity and data rates at range
Review client wireless upgrades and operations training, etc.
Prepare a predictive wireless site survey with channel planning prior to deployment (vendor)
Have a spectral analysis survey for 2.4 and 5 GHz interferences
Do a post-deployment on-site wireless survey to assure delivery meets requirements (vendor)
Perform a budget analysis
Dave Hoxie
Network Solutions Architect

Twitter @frameforward
Dave Hoxie
Network Solutions Architect
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