For many in the wireless industry, the "Bigger, Better, Faster" mantra has become second nature. At least, that's what Network World is saying in it's recent article "Bigger, better, faster: What does Wave 2 of 802.11ac have in store?"
RESOLUTE's VP of Technology Frank DeMasi took a little time to dive into Wave 2 and explain why this development won't catch on anytime soon:
Wave 2 wireless will help in many ways, especially where you have dense deployments with modest throughput for each user and, as the article states, the new issue will be with the infrastructure to support the new access points. In most cases this infrastructure costs more than the hardware because of the labor involved with cabling to the AP’s.
The current configuration available is 1Gb switch ports to the AP’s, in wave 2 this will be inadequate to support the massive potential throughput of the AP on the wireless side. It’s not as easy as just upgrading the switches to support a higher speed – the connection to the AP is currently done with Cat5e cable, to support more bandwidth you will have to switch to Cat6 cable and even then might only get 2-3 gigabit connection to the AP at that distance. So not only will the switch capabilities have to be upgraded, but so will the Cat5e cable configuration. This is not an easy upgrade which is why the author mentions running multiple cable per AP. In the real world this multi cable possibility will create more costs, use more conduit space and in general kill the ability for the adoption of the wave 2 AP’s because of the deployment cost differences.
It seems that the wireless development has now exceeded the network development needed to support the products and this will impact how fast these products get deployed.
If you're interested in discussing Wave 2 or have questions about wireless in general, please feel free to reach out to us here.