The Future of Wireless in the Enterprise
With a new wireless networking standard having been released and devices to follow in the near future, 2018 is proving to be a landmark year in enterprise Wi-Fi.
Let’s start from the beginning, what has wireless looked like in the past?
199925th May 1999
Wireless was introduced to the general public as a “nice to have” with the 802.11 a and b ratification’s, both has very low speeds (up to 54 Mbps & 11Mbps respectively)
200325th May 2003
802.11g released, delivering up to 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz space
200725th May 2007
Alongside the birth of the smartphone came 802.11n, the “n” standard brought about faster processing speeds of up to 450 Mbps for Wi-Fi and it supported both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz devices
201625th May 2016
802.11ac is a supercharged version of 802.11n and delivers speeds ranging from 433 Mbps up to several gigabits per second
201731st December 2017
802.11ax focused on high efficiency, enhancing operation into the 2.4Ghz and 5GHz band
What is 802.11ax trying to solve?
Reliable Wi-Fi is critical in today’s enterprise, but as we all have experienced the Wi-Fi network can fall short of these expectations. For many organisations Wi-Fi is the primary form of connectivity even though a wired ethernet connection is generally faster and more reliable. The mobile workforce of the 21st century has rendered this form of connectivity limiting and old-school.
Wi-Fi has fundamental issues that need resolving, such as bandwidth shared among endpoint devices, access points can have overlapping coverage areas, especially in dense deployments as well as the fact that end users can be moving between access points. The current solution, based on technology from the ethernet days, requires endpoints to listen for a clear signal before transmitting. In a crowded area, such as airports with hundreds of end users attempting to stream video at the same time, the system loses efficiency, resulting in a poor Wi-Fi experience for users.
The good news is that the new standard promises to improve performance, extend coverage and achieve a longer battery life. 802.11ax is said to reach a single stream at 3.5Gbps.
2018+ – What Does The Future Look Like?
The world of enterprise Wi-Fi moves quick but 2018 is going to see a shift in focus, we are moving onto 802.11ax which is based on its successor 802.11ac. Wave 2 is the latest Wi-Fi standard to be certified by the IEEE, it’s main technological innovation being the multi-user multiple input-multiple-output or MU-MIMO for short. This means that you can create access points that talk to multiple devices at the same time! In addition, the upcoming standard 802.11ax, otherwise called High-Efficiency Wireless promises a fourfold increase in average throughput per user.
Earlier APs however, had to handle multiple streams sequentially, thus showing the rapid increase in innovative technological changes in wireless. Each new Wi-Fi standard has bought significant improvements in performance for example 802.11ac, offers an impressive theoretical maximum rate of 1.3Gbps. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been enough to keep up with the demand within the enterprise, ultimately leading to the dreaded slow wireless…
802.11ax, coupled with 1 Gbps+ capacity switches, makes them perfect for high density public environments such as stadiums, airports and shopping centres. Whilst this increased throughput will reduce the likely hood of seeing the magic wheel every time you try to load a page or having to wait 20 minutes to load a document, it is also designed to be beneficial within Internet of Things (IoT) deployments, in heavy-usage homes, apartment buildings and offices.
Does your office use an excessive amount of data? As data consumption increases so does the cost! But 802.11ax can mitigate this to an extent, by offloading cellular data. This works whereby the cellular network offloads wireless traffic to a complementary Wi-Fi network in cases where local cell reception is poor or in situations where the cell network is being taxed.
The anticipation for this new standard is high! Will it be everything we hope it will be..?
How can we help you?
Wireless is an essential part of any business and with modern devices now designed to live on the internet ensuring you have a reliable connection is of upmost priority. This is where Mobliciti come in, we can mitigate the stress of dealing with these challenges. We can offer you an abundance of fully managed services to suit your business’ specific needs. Mobliciti harnesses the most innovative technologies to ensure your business stays connected.
Our managed services are Secure, Flexible, Scalable, built using our best of breed technology solutions and delivered by our experienced support and delivery teams. We allow customers to remove the risk and retain the control over the increasingly complex worlds of Mobile, Wireless and Cloud. Get in touch today to find out more.