Given the evolution of past major advances in wireless-LAN technologies, it should come as no surprise that products based on the still-in-development IEEE 802.11ac standard are now appearing across the board, from residence to enterprise. Just as was the case with 802.11g and 802.11n, the standards-development process is now far enough along that the semiconductor community is shipping in volume, the Wi-Fi Alliance has been able to issue an initial interoperability specification, and system-vendor products offering up to 1.3 Gbps are now available at prices very close to those of 802.11n APs but with on the order of a 30% improvement in price/performance on a spectral-efficiency basis and from 100% to more than 200% in performance overall. Farpoint Group is recommending that at least initial deployments of 802.11ac begin now, if for no other reason than to commence the trek up the experience curve, and we have forecast that sales of 802.11ac-based products will surpass those of 802.11n by the end of 2015 – a remarkable pace, ever for Wi-Fi.
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