Is 802.11ax the "Next Big Thing" in Wireless?

Or should we wait for the sequel?

By Nate Hock, Product Engineer


Star Wars is a great movie. An instant classic. It helped define sci-fi entertainment, the Hollywood blockbuster, and film merchandising, and its ripples through time are still being felt by today's generation.

Only a few short years after the release of the original, The Empire Strikes Back took something great and made it even better. Empire is arguably the best Star Wars movie. Really, it's one of the best sci-fi movies period.

This isn't always the case with movie part two's (maybe because Empire is actually Episode V), but in the world of wireless sequels, this trend continues to ring true. We are seeing something great continually grow into something better.


N to AC

With the shift from wireless N to AC, we saw large leaps forward in bandwidth and client saturation handling. Now, with Wave 2 becoming more common, is AC really a silver bullet? Hardly.

With the Internet of Things, and widespread connectivity still on the rise, our wireless requirements are becoming greater and greater. How can we continue to combat this trend and meet this growing demand?

There's only one way. 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.

802.11ax - The "Next Big Thing" in Wireless

Recently, Network World published an article outlining the advantages of 802.11ax, the next standard for wireless LANs. It does a great job of breaking down the info on what makes AX special and what users should expect.

One of the coolest things baked into 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.

Apparently OFDMA is something borrowed from LTE wireless. This may just be what enterprise wireless needs to really change the game.


For the Future

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. We need to break away from past wireless limitations and innovate. Wireless 802.11ax may be the first big step in the right direction. Only time will tell!

Check out the article and keep your eyes on tech news. As we get closer to 2018, I’m sure more info on 802.11ax will follow. It just might be the next big sequel to 802.11ac!

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