802.11ac has promised us a lot: faster data rates, more efficient use of RF spectra and transmission to multiple clients in the same instance. Now, 802.11ac's full promise has come in the Wave 2 products. But, have we reached nirvana yet? No. To fulfill the 'ac' promise, all the right elements need to be in place.
By now, most Wi-Fi vendors have announced their indoor Wave 2 APs. Ruckus was first to market with the R710, which also incorporated BeamFlex+ and ChannelFly services for an optimized WLAN experience.
But was anything else missing? Yes. A wider selection of Wave 2 APs supporting different deployment environments. Robust Wave 2 APs were needed for not just indoor operation but also for outdoor and special indoor locations such as mid-market opportunities. Today, Ruckus announced the T710 and R510 products to address these segments. With a broad solution portfolio, a Wave 2 experience can be provided in almost any conceived wireless environment. But, is this enough?
Having a broad base of Wave 2 APs to deploy is only half the solution for expanding Wave 2 adoption. The critical element is having access to Wave 2 clients, and the flood of clients has just begun. Without integrating Wave 2 clients into a network, there would be no MU-MIMO benefit. The MU-MIMO benefit not only impacts Wave 2 clients but, because the realized RF efficiency, also benefits the non-Wave 2 devices as well. Today, there are more than 60 commercially available Wave 2 devices with unit sales beginning to skyrocket. Samsung announced its Wave 2 V6 Android early in 2016 and was able to sell more than 10 million units in a single quarter.
The expansion of the Wave 2 market is inevitable. With enterprise-class APs available in multiple deployment options and Wave 2 clients rapidly becoming the majority of sales, it is easy to project the successful expansion of Wave 2-based wireless solutions. Check our Wave 2 summary.