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Four Wireless Standards You’ll Want to Watch in the Next Few Years

Four Wireless Standards You'll Want to Watch in the Next Few Years

Four Wireless Standards You'll Want to Watch in the Next Few Years

The 802.11ac wireless standard is nearing the end of its reign in enterprise technology. In the next couple years we have a whole range of new standards in the works. Below, we’ve rounded up four of the most exciting new wireless standards in development and they’re primary use cases.


The most talked about wireless standard is by far IEEE 802.11ax. Similar to 802.11n and 802.11ac, the new standard operates in both the 2.4 and 5GHZ spectrum and uses hardware chips that are full backward compatible with previous WiFi standards. The standard is also lightning quick too, reaching speeds as fast as 10 Gbps in some early tests. In addition to the expected speed increase, businesses will likely see benefits related to high-density deployments and improved end-user battery life.


Although this is technically an update to the 802.11ad standard, 802.11ay is a high-performance wireless technology that operates in the unlicensed 60  GHz frequency range. This standard improves on the original specification in terms of throughput and network range. While 802.11ax is more likely to be used to connect end-user devices to the network, 802.11ay is expected to be used for backhaul reasons to connect multiple buildings.

IEEE 802.11ah

This standard is ideal for connecting tons of IoT sensors. 802.11ah operates in the unlicensed 900 MHz range, which extends the operational range of a single access point. In addition to this improvement in range, the standard can support incredibly dense deployments of IoT sensors, leading to notable deployment savings. One important issue that might dissuade network teams is that the maximum throughput for the standard is less than 350 Mbps. While this is much lower than the 802.11ac standrd, it should still meet the needs of most IoT deployment needs.


Also known as ‘super wi-fi” or “white wi-fi”, this wireless standard operates in unused “white space” frequencies. While this “white space” can be used for a number of different cases, the most common is to achieve long-range wireless connection in rural areas. The 802.11af standard requires an FCC license to operate with carriers likely leasing their use to enterprise customers.

wireless guide coverFor information on the top 802.11ac solutions, check out our latest Buyer’s Guide:

  • Easy, side-by-side comparison of the top 802.11ac wireless vendors
  • Descriptions of each solution and their strengths
  • Important questions to ask yourself and potential vendors when considering a solution
  • Market overview of the current 802.11ac wireless space
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