Can Wave 2 handle the wireless tsunami heading toward us?

Can Wave 2 handle the wireless tsunami heading toward us?

There seems to be a shift in our industry from wireless N to AC as we have seen large leaps forward in bandwidth and client saturation handling. With the growth of wireless options going in the workplace, widespread connectivity continues to rise and wireless requirements are becoming greater and greater.

Now, with Wave 2 becoming more common, is AC really able to handle the tsunami like wave of wireless internet request to meet this growing demand?

There's only one way to find out. We need to step out of the comfort zone provided by past wireless technologies and expand the idea of what wireless is capable of providing to meet these demands.

Many people believe that 802.11ax, the next standard in wireless LANs, can fulfill their wireless demands. A characteristic of AX is orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA). This takes the ideas of MU-MIMO, or talking to more than one client device at once, and explodes it out hundreds of times. But get from your AP in the ceiling, 6.8 Gigs, back to your switch in the closet is going to be difficult, so we're going to have to mitigate some of these changes. This is where WAVE2 802.11ac may be the answer.

Now that 802.11ac access points addresses these increase speeds and performance requirements, we are starting to see the rollout the WAVE2 802.11ac access points products.

HPE/Aruba’s 802.11AC Wave 2 access points offer extra features - multi-user MIMO and Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) being some of the most notable, but also allows users to take advantage of the new IEEE 802.3bz standard for multi-gig Ethernet.  

HP’s SMART RATE Multi-gig Ethernet allows the possibility of high-speed connections – up to 10GbE over existing cabling infrastructure – as well as power over Ethernet for 802.11ac Wave 2 devices.

Pairing a WAVE 2 Access point with a switch port capable of Multi-gig gives you the potential for increased speeds while also powering those devices.  Smart Rate essentially auto-negotiates the connections (after the programming is complete on both ends of course) and will attempt 4 connections each at 10gig, 5 gig, 2.5 gig and gig until it can make a connection at the fastest speed possible.

As more people and devices become connected and the way we interact with and control those devices changes, the load on our networks will only increase, almost to tsunami proportions. We need to break away from past wireless limitations and innovate. Wireless 802.11ac may be the first big step in the right direction. Only time will tell. Catch the technology wave!

This article was originally published on Network World. It can be found here.