As we’ve discussed previously, IEEE 802.11ac is the new wireless LAN standard. It will allow for faster Wi-Fi connectivity, an essential feature in light of the growing trend of widespread tablet and smartphone usage (the “Bring Your Own Device” trend).
Many new devices from the last half of 2013 are already equipped for 802.11ac, and when this standard rolls out they will be able to immediately take advantage of its benefits.
Businesses can do a few things to future-proof their wireless networks. The whitepaper, “Understanding the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard” by Meru Networks, discusses the following considerations for a successful deployment:
a. Purchase of new access points and upgrading existing controller firmware
b. A second 1 Gbps Ethernet link may need to be run to an AP configured to operate two 5 GHz channels
c. May require CAT-6 or CAT-6a cabling to ensure wired infrastructure can support higher data rates
2. Network Design
a. Plan to support 2.4 GHz devices for 4-7 years
b. Channel plan for 80 MHz wide channels
c. Deploy in Meru’s “Virtual Cell” mode
d. Leverage context-aware layers (CALs) where it makes sense to isolate applications
To learn more about the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard, download “Understanding the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi Standard”.