One of the most daunting aspects of updating your wireless network to the 802.11ac Wave 2 standard is that much of your infrastructure won’t be wired to handle the increased speed of your new network. It’s sort of like having a bullet train, but not having the tracks.

Where does this leave you? One option would be to remove the old cables and replace them with wiring that will allow you to take advantage of this speed. But that’s an expensive solution that’s incredibly time-consuming—it’s not easy to fish out those wires and then patch up and paint the inevitable holes in the wall.

The easiest and most cost-responsible thing to do is install the foundation of IEEE standardization (via the 802.3bz task force), NBASE-T technology. NBASE-T technology is a type of Ethernet signaling that ups the speed of the already-installed cabling. That means you can put the sledgehammers down, you’re not going to need them. Cabling that now reach top speeds of 1Gbps (for up to 100 meets) will be augmented to reach up to 2.5Gbps or 5Gbps, provided that they are Cat5e and Cat6 cables.

The Cisco Aironet 3800 Access Point (AP) is the only AP currently on the market that has speeds that can take advantage of this cabling. With dual radios providing a theoretical connection rate of up to 5.2Gbps in total (2.6Gbps per radio), this is roughly double the rates that today’s high-end 802.11ac access points provide. All of these speeds are supported on the Category 5e cabling and 10GBASE-T cabling.

You’ll be getting a much faster network without spending a lot of time and money to do so. That’s a win-win for everyone.

You might think that you can get away with the network that you have now—and you may be able to, for a time. But eventually more and more devices are going to be brought into the network and they’re going to be using data-heavy applications when they connect to your network. These devices doesn’t include the products like security cameras and other smart devices, which make up IoT. The additions of these new devices are going to chew up your bandwidth real quick.

You don’t have to overhaul your entire network today, but it’s inevitable that you will soon. Equipping your network with the NBASE-T technology and the new Cisco Aironet 3800 access points are a great head start on this project—before it becomes a major problem later.

To learn more about NBASE-T, click here and to learn more about the Cisco Aironet 3800 Access Point, click here


Mark Denny

Senior PLM