Gartner Research

Don't Let the New WLAN Standard Break the Bank or Your Wired Network

Published: 27 January 2015

ID: G00272193

Analyst(s): Andrew Lerner , Bill Menezes , Tim Zimmerman


The next generation of 802.11ac Wave 2 WLAN products will hit the market in 2015, but most enterprise environments don't warrant them yet. This research identifies what network decision makers should (and shouldn't) do to ready their networks and avoid unnecessary expenditures.

Table Of Contents
  • Impacts


  • Do I Need Wave 2?
  • Improved Wireless Density
  • What About the Wired Network?

Impacts and Recommendations

  • In 2015, WLAN vendors will be releasing and promoting new 802.11ac Wave 2-capable products that will tout massive improvements in WLAN speeds and capacity, but network decision makers should be wary of the hype
  • Wave 2's increased capacity has a cascading impact on the wired switching infrastructure that network decision makers must plan for
  • Wave 2 includes improved high-density WLAN capability via multiuser multiple input/multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology, which network architects can use to support highly transition-dense environments

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