When it comes to the adoption of new technology such as 802.11ac, the industry becomes a farmer’s almanac of predictions when it comes to when and what devices and products will announce 802.11ac support.  Aside from Cisco, who boldly announced support for 802.11ac on the 3600 Access Point for the enterprise, there have been a number of consumer devices such as home routers, bridges, a selection of USB clients and a single gaming oriented laptop that are offering support for the new 802.11ac specification.

With HTC’s announcement of 802.11ac support for their HTC One smartphone, we would expect others to follow suit in the near future, setting the stage for the first series of devices to bring integrated 802.11ac to market sometime in CY13. As these device become available you can expect them to be connecting to your corporate networks as BYOD devices for corporate use. With the devices come the expectations where your end-users are going to be looking for that extra bump in network performance promised by the 802.11ac standard.

Next up, Tablet and notebook devices.

We can certainly expect the majority of smartphone vendors that also offer tablet devices to target 802.11ac in the next-generation of their products. Likewise, notebooks with 802.11ac integrated…just in time for school in late summer and fall?

This all translates to new devices with higher bandwidth capabilities appearing on your network in the not too distant future, further continuing that trend of wireless as the new access layer medium as wireless users become more and more mobile, pushing the network to adapt to their day-to-day business behavior and needs.

The good news is that Cisco, with the 802.11ac module for the 3600 Series access point, will be able to connect these devices and provide all the benefits of 802.11ac all on the uncrowded 5GHz band. Taking full advantage of this will be higher education. Students, typically early adopters of the latest tech, will most likely show up to class next September with their 802.11ac supported smartphone or laptop and will expect all the promises of higher performance that 802.11ac can bring.  Healthcare and Service Providers will also be able to gain the benefits of 802.11ac technology adoption by providing device connectivity for HD video streaming and faster file transfers with medical imaging. Tying this all together will be the Cisco Aironet 3600 Series with the 802.11ac module.

3600_moduleAt the recent Wireless Field day, we were the only vendor to discuss the 802.11ac standard. As a follow on to the 802.11ac demo we gave at last Septembers WFD, we provided an update the Cisco 802.11ac Module and provided further detail on the Wave 2 portion of the standard.  Here’s the video if you missed it. 

For 802.11ac technology adaption, there will still be a lot of rumors about different product support coming to a Google search near you. However, as more and more vendors solidify their plans for this emerging technology, the next few months will also be an exciting ride for those who follow this technology and Cisco is happy to be there driving the bus.


Bill Rubino

Product Marketing Manager

Enterprise Networking and Cloud Marketing