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Wireless Upgrade to 802.11ac


Missouri State University will begin deploying new wireless access points capable of supporting the latest 802.11ac standard. The new wireless devices will support clients using the latest 802.11ac standard as well as all previous 802.11 standards (a, b, g, and n).

What this means:

In a nutshell 802.11ac will provide faster speeds and the potential for greater client density. 802.11ac wireless systems have many technological improvements over our old 802.11n wireless system such as:

  • Standardized Beamforming: The new wireless access points utilize standardized beamforming technology to focus their signal directly at individual wireless clients. This will greatly improving the signal strength of each client as well as reduce RF noise levels thus improving performance. Previous implementations of beamforming would only function if the access point and the client were using the same custom protocol.
  • MU(multi-user)-MIMO: Previous iterations of MIMO allowed for a single user at a time to communicate with a wireless access point with up to three transmit and three receive antenna at a time. With the new MU-MIMO up to four clients are able to communicate at 3x3 concurrently. This will greatly reduce the time a wireless client has to wait before it can transmit or receive its data.
  • Three Spatial Stream (3x3:3): In addition to being able to transmit and receive on three antenna at a time clients supporting multiple spatial streams will be able to send or receive that transmission down a three lane highway. This has the potential to increase throughput up to 50% for clients capable of supporting three spatial streams.

When will this happen?

The first installations will begin around mid June, 2015 and will continue for newly constructed facilities and large remodeling projects. Due to the change in manufacturers, the older 802.11n access points cannot exist in the same building as the newer 802.11ac access points. Moving forward no additional 802.11n access points will be purchased so inventory is very limited. These limitations will dictate two main options for wireless installations:

  1. Expansion with new 802.11ac access points: New facilities and large remodeling projects will receive the new ac access points. Buildings serviced with older wireless access points may elect to remove all of the older units and replace them with the new ac models or they may choose option two.
  2. Expansion with older 802.11n access points: This option will not be available for new facilities. If additional access points are desired in a facility to expand coverage or capacity, we will still install the older access points provided sufficient inventory is available. If sufficient numbers are not available, the users may select option one or they may elect to wait until other users choose option one and free up a sufficient number of older access points to service their needs.

Questions or Concerns?

Should you have any questions or concerns about this upgrade, please direct them to Josh Stuppy.