11ac and planning ahead for 11ad

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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How do you see 11ad impacting 11ac WLANs ? In particular is there anything you would advise doing when designing an 11ac rollout to facilitate future use of 11ad?
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Lisa Phifer

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Posted 5 years ago

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Mike Kouri, Official Rep

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IEEE 802.11ac and 802.11ad both provide much higher data throughputs than their predecessors. Yet they have much different potential uses. IEEE 802.11ac is an evolution of previous WLAN capability. It gives the “unwired office” the ability to compete directly with gigabit wired systems while offering much better layout and connection flexibility. In contrast, IEEE 802.11ad is a new solution that provides ad-hoc short-range connectivity in support of extremely high data rates.

I see them as potentially complementary solutions, and since their radio frequencies differ by so much I wouldn't worry about one impacting the other.
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Craig Mathias

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This is a great question, and we'll also return to this topic later today.
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Lisa Phifer

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By impact I wasn't asking about interference - I know frequency bands differ.

I am really asking about opportunities for offloading some traffic such as short range high thruput video from 11ac to 11ad and how that might affect the way you'd plan your 11ac deployment (eg capacity planning)
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EvaldasOu

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That's really is two different standarts ( 11ac and 11ad). I think it is not possible and no one really thought about it :)
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Matthew Gast

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Oh, the industry is thinking about it. The WiGig Alliance merged with the Wi-Fi Alliance, and that can't have been an accident!
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Why did they call it WiGig and not something like WiFi+, WiFi Pro or WiFi 2?
It's a strange name. Perhaps I'm just not used to it...
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Craig Mathias

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WiGig (Wireless Gigabit Alliance) was started separately from Wi-Fi - the 60 GHz. guys wanted to get the ball rolling early. Merging into Wi-Fi was inevitable, as Wi-Fi controls WLANs. But they're not the only 60 GHz. game in town...
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Matthew Gast

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The WiGig Alliance was established back in 2009, and they didn't have rights to use the Wi-Fi name because WiGig was a new unrelated group. All they could do was imitate the way everybody uses "Wi" or "Fi" in the name (WiMax, WiBro, MyFi, ...)
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Matthew Gast

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The 802.11ad MAC is a little bit different -- one of the major drivers for 802.11ad was to offer a docking-type function in the 60 GHz band. The MAC is designed to be much more point-to-point, and there isn't quite the same conception of an access point in the way that we're used to with 802.11a/b/g/n/ac. (That said, if you can run IP on it, we seem to be able to connect it up to the world -- even joke RFCs! http://www.blug.linux.no/rfc1149/)

At this point, I don't see a lot that we can do until there are more tri-band (2.4/5/60) devices out there. If 802.11ad is used for short-range offload, you'd probably want to build the same 11ac network -- a network designed for the highest capacity and performance possible. The biggest thing I can see to get ready for using 11ac for offload is to set up a monitoring infrastructure that enables you to know what is on your network so you can see performance bottlenecks start to develop so you know when to start thinking about offloading.