How is Wi-Fi changing? What you need to know about Wave 2 and Google WiFi

As more consumers look for faster Wi-Fi speeds and technologies improve, there are more capable products hitting the market.

For example, there is now a new Wi-Fi alternative available called Wave 2, which comes with an 802.11ac standard. This new standard allows multiple devices such as phones to communicate at the same time.

Bruce Miller, VP for product marketing at Wi-Fi firm Xirrus, told PCR: “Now for the first time you can have multiple clients simultaneously communicate with the network, and that helps density and capacity, especially in dense areas it can help to service more users.“

Google has also announced that it is moving into the Wi-Fi router market with its OnHub Wi-Fi Router.

The router has been produced in partnership with TP-Link and can be managed via an app on a smartphone. Plus, Google has marketed the device as an AC 1900 router, which has a data rate of 1300Mbps on an 802.11ac link and 600Mbps on an 802.11n link.

Pre-orders for the $199 wireless router are available now, though the product has not yet been confirmed for launch in the UK.

Networking company Netgear is also pushing new Wi-Fi products, with the latest edition to its Nighthawk family, which the firm says has the highest bandwidth to date.

But Miller isn’t concerned about these vendors entering this space since Xirrus’ products are access points rather then routers specifically.

Miller added: “Our products, we call them access points because they typically don’t have the routing functionally that is typically run by a separate device in the enterprise network.”

But what does the Wi-Fi of the future look like, will speeds get even faster? Miller thinks so but he believes that companies will need the infrastructure in place to support such speeds.

“I think we have reached this point, especially with Wave 2 products, where individual wireless connections to a user are getting sufficiently faster or similar to what you might get to a plug-in connection.

“That said, you still have to have the appropriate infrastructure, so you could have the fastest Wi-Fi in the world, but if you still have a 1MB or a 10MB uplink to your business that could be the chokepoint,” Miller explained.

In addition to that, Miller thinks that Wi-Fi will become much more personal in the future, for example it will have the ability to send a deal for a meal to a user if if they are by a certain restaurant.

Miller concluded: “As far as future Wi-Fi goes, the thing that we’re looking at and investing in, especially in public Wi-Fi spaces, is the engagement with the users.

“Understanding who the user is and where they’re at, you can very much customise the experience.”

Image source: Shutterstock

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