It seems that each year, one or two major companies pause to take a look at how we can do things better. How we can do things faster, and how we can be more nimble. As 2012 draws to a close, Cisco
and Aerohive are offering forecasts on what to expect in terms of wireless technology. The 802.11 standard has been long since used in a multitude of Wi-Fi devices, but even 802.11n is getting stressed in some complex applications. Now, 802.11ac
is on the horizon, expected to be ratified in 2013.
Chris Spain, who currently serves as VP of product marketing at Cisco Systems, and Andrew vonNagy -- a senior Wi-Fi architect with Aerohive Networks -- sat down to take a look and offer some projections. Spain suggesting that there would not be a ton of 802.11ac clients at the start, as the standard is slowly adopted and implemented. Perhaps more surprisingly, he notes that right out of the gate, the speed increases over 802.11n wouldn't be "tremendously impressive," but that the second wave of devices will lead to speeds that are "far more interesting." vonNagy stated that first-gen 802.11ac products will be able to achieve up to 1.3Gbps though the use of a trio of spacial streams, "80-MHz-wide channels (double the largest 40 MHz channel width with 802.11n), and use of better hardware components that allow higher levels of modulation and encoding (up to 256-QAM)." Will we see 802.11ac gear capable of hitting the fabled 6.9Gbps? That'll reportedly be "dependent on hardware enhancements on both the access point and client that are not certain."
The full interview can be found in the Via link below, but the gist of it seems to imply that 802.11ac gear may not take the world by storm at first. But then again, 802.11n wasn't really taken advantage of for months after release. Adoption on this stuff is typically sluggish, but once the industry grabs hold, the envelope is inevitably pushed.