DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 802.11AC WAVE 2 AND WAVE 1 PLATFORMS

With onset of mobile technology and need for faster , improved customer experience picked pace , Wireless technology has streamlined itself to meet the functional requirements of the ever changing world. Wireless usage growth is going to accelerate as Internet of Things (IoT) traffic from billions of devices and new mobile apps hits the airwaves.

By 2019 the majority of fixed IP traffic will be Wi-Fi (53 percent), exceeding wired traffic by 21 percent.A new set of high performance devices (Access Points) have been introduced which belong to new generation named as “Wave 2“. 802.11ac Wave 2 provides a significant boost in performance when compared to 802.11ac Wave 1 and 802.11n. Wave 2 products started becoming available in 2015.


Some of key benefits of Wave 2 –

  • Significant Performance enhancement
  • Improved user experience faster connections and longer device battery life.
  • Support for business critical and collaboration applications.
  • Improved network performance helps speed up business processes and introduce services that drive revenue and productivity.

The above benefits have come to fore due to below significant enhancements in Wave 2 platform devices –

  • Supports speeds to 2.34 Gbps (up from 1.3 Gbps) in the 5 GHz band
  • Supports multiuser multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO)
  • Offers the option of using 160-MHz-wide channels for greater performance
  • Offers the option of using a fourth spatial stream for greater performance
  • Can run in additional 5-GHz bands around the world

With both Wave 1 and Wave 2 set of devices supporting band of 5GHz and performing modulation at 256 QAM, some of key differences between both are enlisted in below table –

PARAMETER

802.11AC WAVE 1

802.11AC WAVE 2

 Introduction June 2013 Late 2015
 MIMO Single User (SU) Multi User (MU)
 PHY Rate 1.3 Gbps 2.34 Gbps – 3.47 Gbps
Channel Width 20,40,80 MHz 20,40,80,80-80,160 MHz
Spatial Stream 3 3 – 4
MAC Support 845 Mbps 1.52 Gbps – 2.26 Gbps
Multi-streaming AP’s base station can transmit to one client at a time on a channel AP’s can transmit to 4 single-stream devices such as 4 smartphones at once
Supported Platforms Cisco Aironet 1700, 2700, 3700 Series Access Points. Cisco Aironet 3800, 2800, 1850, 1830, 1815, 100, 300, 500 Series Access Points.

 

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