Wait for second wave?

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  • Updated 5 years ago
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Products(first wave) are coming available at this moment but probably next the second wave will become available with additional benefits. When will it be wise to start right now? When to wait for second wave?
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Hans Raymakers

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Posted 5 years ago

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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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For me, as a rule of thumb, I think that if you have 802.11n APs that are capable in hardware of 802.11k, 802.11r, 802.11v and 802.11w it is not worth upgrading today unless you expect to see a significant number of 802.11ac capable clients that would benefit from the capacity boost.

APs that have the capabilities of k/r/v/w are, by definition, using a later generation 802.11n chip and you gain somewhat less, especially where the AP is 3x3:3 capable.

If you, however, you have hardware that is not capable of those things (is older generation n therefore) or need the capacity today, it is worth considering the upgrade to Wave 1 802.11ac.
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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The benefit is also less where you have an existing deployment of 3x3:3 capable 802.11n APs over, say, 3x3:2 or 2x2:2.
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steven

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I think it would really depent on the use case and customer needs. 11ac is mainly about more speed. If an 11n design will not provide the capacity, 11ac might.
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EvaldasOu

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Because there is no a lot of 802.11ac capable client devices, you should don't think too much about 802.11ac first wave APs :)

I think 802.11ac Wave 2 will be not just additional software upgrade... It will be something different in the hardware,.. Am I right? :)
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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It will be different in the hardware, yes.
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Matthew Gast

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The number of Wi-Fi certified 802.11ac devices is increasing rapidly! When the program was announced in June, there were only the initial eight testbed devices. As I write this morning, there are almost 100 (http://www.wi-fi.org/certified-produc...). Historical experience suggests that once 802.11ac chips are widely available, it will actually cost less to buy an 11ac chip than an 11n chip, and the device support will be fairly rapid.

Whether to use the first wave of 802.11ac is decision you need to make for your own network based on its usage. Are there places where you're performance constrained and need higher capacity. It sounds like Nick's network doesn't need the performance of 802.11ac anywhere, so he's made the call not to use it. Many Aerohive customers have at least one spot where they need higher density, and are using an 802.11ac device or two. Knowing what applications are in use can help you make the call of whether to use 802.11ac, too. I wouldn't upgrade to 11ac to help people run Netflix at work (unless I was the network administrator at Netflix!).
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Nick Lowe, Official Rep

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Matthew is absolutely correct, it completely depends on use case. My advice would only be, therefore, to make sure that you are upgrading on a genuine, substantiated need and not a hypothetical one. I didn't say I've decided not to use it! ;)
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Matthew Gast

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And yes, 802.11ac requires a hardware upgrade. Software defined radios are cool, but they don't yet let you channel channel width and modulation!