The Wi-Fi Alliance is a non-profit organization whose objective is to advocate the continued innovation of Wi-Fi technology. Apart from that, this body also certifies Wi-Fi products that comply with specific standards of interoperability (a gadget’s ability to work with other products or systems automatically). Just recently, the Wi-Fi Alliance has decided to further expand the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac certification program in order to include features that can help achieve speedier Wi-Fi connections or performance.
Introduced just this week, the certification program will now come with features called Wave 2 for newer and upcoming AC network products. But what does this mean for mobile users? When consumers purchase a new AC product that comes with the certificate’s official seal, they can expect that product to have undergone extensive testing to deliver specific capabilities such as:
MU-MIMO (multiple user, multiple input, multiple output) -- Networks that feature MU-MIMO are able to facilitate multitasking by way of the transmission of data to multiple devices at once (as opposed to sending data to each device one at a time), resulting to better network efficiency and throughput
160 MegaHertz channels -- From 80 MegaHertz previously, up to 160 MegaHertz channels are now certified, thereby producing improved speeds on Wi-Fi networks
4 x 4 (four spatial streams, also known as quad stream) -- Wireless connections improve their speeds as more spatial streams are involved; before, the fastest certified speed was 3 x 3 (three stream), but now that 4 x 4 has been certified, devices now can begin to have support for this level of connection speed
Support for extended 5 GigaHertz channel -- Wi-Fi signals are less likely to interfere with each other when transmitted on larger channels; with the extended channel of the 5 GigaHertz frequency band now certified, there is less interference and faster actual connections in real time
The feature with the biggest impact looks to be MU-MIMO because it lets Wi-Fi devices of varying Wi-Fi grades to each connect at optimum speeds without affecting each other’s performance. It bears noting that MU-MIMO is actually already made available in a number of routers out in the market, such as the Netgear R8500 and the Linksys EA8500. However, the MU-MIMO in those devices are only in draft or nonactivated version. But with the new Wi-Fi standard, these existing routers can be enhanced by way of firmware in order to have full support for the final version of MU-MIMO.
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