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Wi-Fi gets a much needed upgrade

With more and more devices being connected to Wi-Fis everywhere, and with the number of networks growing, as well, changes needed to be made to make sure everything works seamlessly, and the Wi-Fi Alliance industry group has made its move.

It is now certifying products capable of delivering multi-gigabit speeds, while improving coverage in dense networks.

It all revolves around a new set of features called 'Wave 2'. Those include MU-MIMO, 160Mhz Channels, Four spatial streams and Extended 5Ghz channel support.

The MU-MIMO is the most important in the bunch – it allows networks to send data to multiple devices at once, rather than one at a time, thus improving overall network efficiency. Even though it sounds incredible, networks until now could only send data to one device at a time. Truth be told, they switched between devices too fast for us to notice, but this way, both speed and efficiency are getting a boost.

Maximum channel bandwidth has been increased from 80Mhz to 160Mhz, which could double transmission speeds. The number of spatial streams increased from three to four.

“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac gives users a greater experience in dense environments by maximizing Wi-Fi network resources, providing a richer set of features, and enabling the full potential of the technology,” said Andrew Zignani, research analyst, ABI Research.

“Wi-Fi Alliance assists in the proliferation of certified products into the market, and we expect an increasing number of data-intensive devices to support the new features for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac that will benefit device end users through this certification process.”

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