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802.11ac is powerful – but don’t get ahead of yourself
This article is part of the Computer Weekly issue of 22 October 2013
While the draft 802.11ac Wi-Fi specification offers faster data transmission speeds and greater bandwidth to support the ever-growing number of devices on the corporate network, enterprises are learning the standard's reliance on a higher frequency channel translates to a decrease in Wi-Fi wave range. While the 801.11ac wireless protocol, or Gigabit Wi-Fi, holds the promise of 1.3 Gbps throughput and support for simultaneous high-definition streams, the protocol only operates in the 5GHz frequency. This wide channel provides 802.11ac with the room it needs to accomplish higher transmission speeds between devices and access points, but the 5GHz channel has less range than the more commonly used 2.4GHz channel. The 802.11ac standard's use of the 5GHz frequency provides users with a cleaner connection, free from the interference sources in the crowded 2.4 GHz frequency from devices like Bluetooth headsets, microwave ovens and cordless phones, said Jason Owen, CEO of Amped Wireless, a Chino Hills, Calif.-based Wi-Fi vendor. But the ...
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802.11ac range is shorter than previous Wi-Fi standards. Enterprises can overcome range shortcomings with range extenders, additional access points.
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