Wireless Access

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Access network design for branch, remote, outdoor and campus locations with Aruba access points, and mobility controllers.
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802.11ac basics

  • 1.  802.11ac basics

    Posted Dec 13, 2011 10:45 AM
      |   view attached

    The attached FAQ covers the basics of 802.11ac.  Please respond to the thread if there are any questions after reading the FAQ.


    Edited: fixed a typo in Question 7 of the FAQ


    Updated 5/31/2012: Updated 11ac ratification information.


    Updated 6/27/2012: Fixed a broken link in the TOC and clarrified software 11ac upgrade questions.


    80211ac_faqv5.pdf   433K 1 version

  • 2.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Dec 24, 2011 05:10 AM

    Great link! Thanks a lot :)

  • 3.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Jan 04, 2012 07:38 PM



    Just published a blog on the topic, including an interview with our in-house expert on the topic - Peter Thornycroft, aka. pthornycroft - from Aruba's Office of the CTO. Here it is: 





  • 4.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Jan 30, 2012 09:23 PM

    This fact might be misleading.


    12. Will 802.11ac be backwards compatible?

    Yes. 11a/b/g/n devices will be able to connect to 802.11ac radios.


    I believe only 11a/n devices will be backwards compatible with 11ac radios.

    Most APs will come dual band with an 11n2.4 radio for 11b/g compatibility.


    What do ya'll think?

  • 5.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Mar 08, 2012 10:15 AM

    You are correct in that the standard for 11ac is 5 ghz only.  But when we talk with some of the radio vendors, it sounds like they will be porting some of the 11ac features to 2.4 as well.  I wouldn't be surprised if 256-QAM and wider channel bandwidths made it to 2.4 ghz.  The details are still a little fuzzy.


    Even if no 11ac features make it into 2.4 ghz, the new APs would be 5 ghz 11ac and 2.4 11n.  Which means both 2.4 and 5 ghz 11n devices will be able to connect without any problems.  Existing wifi radios will continue to work on the next generation of APs.

  • 6.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted May 21, 2013 09:53 PM
    I'm confused about the .11n backwards compatibility. Will .11n clients have to connect on 2.4ghz instead of 5ghz? It sounds like .11ac and .11n clients may not co-exist on 5ghz because of the wider channel support.

  • 7.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted May 29, 2013 03:15 PM

    currently clients coexist on the 5ghz band also when there are dual channel en single channel clients, ac will just increase the number of channels you can bundle, i don't see why it would cancel eachother out.

  • 8.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted May 31, 2013 11:26 PM

    Good point, boneyard.  I was not aware that 20mhz and 40mhz clients can coexist, so you're logic makes sense.

  • 9.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Jul 01, 2013 05:13 PM

    Can 802.11ac AP co-exist with 802.11n AP?

  • 10.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Jul 11, 2013 02:57 PM

    In FAQ#12 the 11b should be removed, 11ac works only in 5GHz.

  • 11.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Jul 11, 2013 02:59 PM

    Not only that all the references to b/g should be removed, no?

  • 12.  RE: 802.11ac basics

    Posted Jul 11, 2013 07:36 PM

    All 802.11ac access points will also have a 2.4ghz radio, which will serve b/g clients.