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When it comes to a robust wireless network, there are two things that you need above everything else: speed and strong connectivity.

The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) is putting the finishing touches on the next 802.11 wireless standard which will provide a boost in speed and connectivity. This new IEEE standard—called 802.11ax—is the follow-up to the current standard: 802.11ac Wave 2.

This brings up a good question: what about 802.11ac Wave 2? You still have high density needs and your wireless network has to be able to respond to the challenges of today, right now. You will be able to meet those challenges with Cisco wireless products that adhere to the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard and are combined with robust innovative features that only Cisco can provide. Cisco products using the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard have more than enough horsepower to tide your network over before 802.11ax devices are available.

What does the 802.11ax standard entail? For one thing, there is an increase in both scale and throughput:

  • A higher sustained throughput of 5Gbps+
  • Up to 8×8:8 MU-MIMO RF capabilities – four times the throughput over 802.11ac
  • Uplink and downlink MU-MIMO

The key takeaway from the last bullet is that 802.11ac Wave 2 only introduced MU-MIMO downlink. Uplink is a feature that is expected to be added to this standard as 802.11ax in the future. Along with these new features, a more intelligent wireless network will be introduced by bringing 3G and 4G cellular concepts to Wi-Fi. This will increase the network’s relability and survivability.

An increase in speed is also on tap as faster speeds will be made available to each client; up to 10Gbps over the air. Not only that, but 802.11ax introduces Advanced Coloring Scheme.

What’s Advanced Coloring Schemes? The short definition is that this allows for an increased throughput per access point. The longer definition: each access point and client transmits their data with a unique identifier that is called a “color”.  When an access point or a client listens first before transmitting data, they are more aggressive if they hear data from a different color, since that data is going to a different AP further away from the client.

It is expected that the industry might see the first 11ax clients by early 2018, but the first best-in-class enterprise-class platforms won’t be available until the following year (2019).

In the meantime, don’t forget about the 802.11ac Wave 2 products currently available from Cisco.

Whether you need to significantly boost performance or support the vast number of mobile devices that use bandwidth-hogging applications, you’re able to provide a better user experience by outfitting you network with Wave 2 products from Cisco. Any industry from education to hospitality and retail to healthcare thrives with new Cisco-only technologies such as Flexible Radio Assignment or Cisco-Apple FastLane and more.

To learn more about Cisco’s 802.11ac Wave 2 products, click here.


Greg Dorai

Senior Vice President & General Manager, Cisco Networking Experiences - Campus Connectivity

Networking Experiences