802.11ac Basics and FAQ
What is 802.11ac?
802.11ac is the next evolution of WiFi. First there was 802.11b which provided up to 11 mbps data rates per radio in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. The next evolution was 802.11a which provided up to 54 mbps data rates per radio in the 5 GHz spectrum. 802.11g came out shortly after enabling 54 mbps per radio in the 2.4 GHz spectrum. 802.11n was ratified in 2009. The 802.11n spec allows for data rates up to 600 mbps per radio and the current generation of 802.11n allows for up to 450 mbps per radio. 802.11ac builds on 11n and enable wireless speeds over a gigabit per second.
2. When will 802.11ac be ratified into a standard?
The 802.11ac project was approved in September 2008. Draft 1.3 is currently available. The internal working group’s November 2011 ballot did not pass. It required 75% approval and it failed with 74% approval. Efforts are underway to address the comments and get a draft 2.0 standard. Final ratification is expected in 2013.
3. When will enterprise 802.11ac access points be available?
Enterprise 802.11ac access points are expected to hit the market sometime in 2013. Consumer devices may hit earlier. The first generation of 11ac products will likely be based on a draft of the spec similar to 802.11n.
For more please see attached FAQ.