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How not to waste your money on the second wave of 802.11ac wireless gear

Jon Gold | Jan. 28, 2015
The best way to avoid wasting your money on Wave 2 of 802.11ac access points is to not buy them right away, and the second-best is to not overreact to their presence on your network.

"There's no more hype in the world than in the wireless realm, unfortunately," Badman noted. "What a great place to be in marketing."

Another potential complicating factor for Wave 2 wireless is the probable need for Power-over-Ethernet-Plus compliance, according to IDC analyst Nolan Greene (@ngreeneidc). He said that PoE+ is something that many organizations have dragged their feet on implementing, but that the higher energy requirements for Wave 2 hardware may make it necessary.

"I don't really see how organizations are going to get away with not putting in PoE+ or putting in a power injector to bridge the gap. That will slow down some enterprises in moving to Wave 2."

Even if you have PoE+ in place, and backhaul burly enough to handle the extra data, Wave 2 isn't going to do much for you right away, since no end-user devices are yet on the market.

"One of the things businesses have to ask themselves is do you need it?'" Kerravala said. "Wave 2 clients aren't expected out until 2016, so you really need both ends of it being compliant."

For the moment, then, it's probably best to wait on Wave 2.


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