STATES CHRONICLE – On Wednesday, June 29th, the Wi-Fi Alliance officially welcomed the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 among its certified technology. The Wave 2 technology, however, has been on the market since 2014. So why did the Wi-Fi Alliance need almost two years of market existence to certificate a product?
The first 802.11ac was brought to the public in 2013. After a whole year and a couple of months, its successor would follow. Three years after its launch, almost 75 percent of all Wi-Fi acquisitions are 802.11ac. The 802.11ac Wave 2 appears to be less known of, or less popular for that matter.
Apart from all of its predecessor’s features. The Wave 2 technology can allow an access point to send and receive packets from more than one device at the same time. It can reach transfer rates of up 6.8 Gbps. It can use channels up to 160 MHz wide. It also manages spatial streams better and manages the spectrum more efficiently.
Nevertheless, almost two years after its launch, only approximately 5 percent of all Wi-Fi sales are 802.11ac Wave 2. Even with certification, analysts believe sales numbers will not be going up. So, why is the Wave 2 not as popular as its older brother?
Analysts blame it on bad timing. The 802.11ac Wave 2 was released too soon after the 802.11ac. Too much effort had been made by vendors to advertise and promote the original 802.11ac. Clients who already adapted to the new Wi-Fi would not change their technology just one year later and new customers were fearful of getting uncertified Wi-Fi.
Meanwhile, certification is based on popularity. Since nobody showed interest in the 802.11ac Wave 2, the Wi-Fi Alliance was in turn in no rush to certify the product.
The certification will certainly ensure an increase in popularity, but it is currently believed it will not be close to enough to toppling the 802.11ac. However, the certification may have come too late altogether.
The 802.11ax generation has been announced for 2017. The new Wi-Fi generation has already been proven to have a peak transfer rate of 10 Gbps, among other benefits. The new transfer rate will be 47 percent faster than the Wave 2. A four-year gap between the release of the original 802.11ac and the future release of the 802.11ax will also allow for a smoother upgrade system.