Wave 2 wireless is a new standard that promises to make Gigabit wireless a reality for your customers. Who doesn’t want that?

To ride this exciting new wave, your customers will first need Gigabit Internet brought into their home or office through high quality housings. Their network will need to use a minimum Cat5e or fiber cable throughout and top quality accessories.

What is Wave 2 wireless?

The term Wave 2 wireless refers to the second wave of the 802.11ac standard that replaced the 802.11n standard. Wave 2 is just the latest in a series of improvements, but it’s still a big deal because it offers insanely fast theoretical speeds.

How insane are Wave 2 speeds?

The theoretical speed of Wave 2 is 6.9 Gbps. Of course, that speed has only been attained under ideal lab conditions. The real-world speed is actually somewhere between 1.7 and 2.5 Gbps. This far outstrips the theoretical speed of 600 Mbps for the 802.11n standard, which has a real-world speed more like 50-100 Mbps. This means the speed of Wave 2 is more than 100 times that of its predecessor, 802.11n. That’s fast!

Why is Wave 2 so fast?

Wave 2 wireless speeds are achieved through a number of improvements that include increased channel width, more spatial streams, a technology called beamforming, and another called MU-MIMO.

Wave 2 introduces channel widths up to 160 MHz, a big improvement on the 40 MHz channel width of 802.11n. This will have a huge impact on the transmission of big files, such as HD movies or the files required for some augmented reality games.

The first wave of 802.11ac offered one to four special streams, now with the second wave of 802.11ac your customers can have up to eight spatial streams. The number of spatial streams is directly proportionate to the speed of a network. So, this latest increase doubles the throughput of the network.

With beamforming, wireless access points (WAPs) send a concentrated signal to wireless devices. This is in contrast to the omnidirectional antennae, currently used by many networks. With omnidirectional antennae, much of the signal is wasted because it is sent to areas where no device will pick it up. Beamforming delivers a stronger signal to a smaller area, enhancing the speed of the network.

MU-MIMO is the Wave 2 feature with the greatest impact on network speeds. MU-MIMO stands for multi-user multi-input, multi-output. This means that Wave 2 devices can communicate with more than one device at the same time.

Under previous standards, including the first wave of 802.11ac, access points and routers could only communicate with one device at a time, causing network latency. With growing numbers of devices sharing a single network, as you frequently see in homes and offices, this has become more of an issue for your customers. MU-MIMO solves that latency issue.

Once your customers hear about this new standard and realize they can have significantly faster wireless, they are definitely going to want in on the action.

Remember that your customers can only enjoy the full Wave 2 wireless experience with Gigabit wired Internet and all the compatible equipment. Routers will benefit from being placed in Wi-Fi transparent media panels. If your customer is running a lot of wireless devices at home, the Wave 2 capable router could be a good investment regardless of their wired Internet speed.

When you wire the home or office network, prepare them for the tsunami of Wave 2 wireless by installing wall plate inserts designed for scale-ability.