The industry is well into the 802.11ac Wave 1 cycle now, with almost every vendor having product available. Now is the time many of us industry watchers start looking ahead at what’s next and for Wi-Fi that’s 802.11ac Wave 2. Wave 2 brings more bandwidth, in theory a little over 3.5 Gig; a remarkable speed for Wi-Fi.
The other innovation that Wave 2 brings is something called “beam forming.” Without going into a lot of technical details, beam forming concentrates the Wi-Fi signal and aims it directly at the target, as opposed to traditional wireless broadcasts, which distribute a signal to a wide area and with the hope that it’ll reach the device. So traditional Wi-Fi coverage looks like a circle, whereas beam forming looks like a star.
For those familiar with the Wi-Fi vendor Ruckus, the company has a proprietary version of beam forming called BeamFlex that has been a significant point of differentiation for Ruckus since the company launched.