February 18, 2016

How to Meet the Surging Tide of Wi-Fi Devices in Education: Catch the 802.11ac Wave… 2

How to Meet the Surging Tide of Wi-Fi Devices in Education: Catch the 802.11ac Wave… 2

How to Meet the Surging Tide of Wi-Fi Devices in Education: Catch the 802.11ac Wave… 2If you are involved with IT for education, you feel the constant pressure to expand your Wi-Fi bandwidth and coverage. First there was campus-wide BYOD with the growing number of devices per person. Then the quality of residence hall Wi-Fi become an important decision factor for students applying to schools. Now the Internet of Things is rapidly expanding the number of devices, machines, and displays on the school Wi-Fi network.

In K-12 education, Wi-Fi-based 1:1 computing is playing a growing role. The use of streaming video and other vehicles for delivering personalized learning are expanding in both K-12 and higher education. Add in student wearables and new educational technologies such as augmented and virtual reality, and it’s clear why many schools’ wireless access points have become overloaded.

This burgeoning demand for Wi-Fi bandwidth and capacity is stressing school IT budgets, as well as leading to Wi-Fi interference challenges. It’s not always desirable or affordable to simply add additional access points. The constraints have often forced a trade-off between coverage and performance.

Fortunately, the 802.11 standard has continued to evolve to address the bandwidth and capacity needs of education. Specifically, 802.11ac Wave 2 provides a powerful step forward in addressing the challenge. It provides more usable and cost-effective bandwidth than any previous generation of Wi-Fi, especially for high-density environments. The higher performance of the new standard comes from its support for four spatial streams compared to three in Wave 1, and wider channels (160MHz) resulting in up to 3.5GHz of potential throughput.

The Wave 2 standard also helps extend battery life by reducing the amount of time that devices’ Wi-Fi interfaces must operate to exchange data with access points before returning to their power-saving dozing state. This is all-important in classroom environments, where mobile student devices operate on batteries.

To learn more about meeting your growing Wi-Fi needs with 802.11ac Wave 2, read the free eBook, The 5 Essential Elements in the 802.11ac Wave 2 Business Case.

About The Contributor:
Bob NilssonDirector of Vertical Solutions Marketing

Bob Nilsson is the director of vertical solutions marketing at Extreme Networks. In this role, Mr. Nilsson leads the Extreme Networks strategy and programs for vertical markets including Healthcare, Higher Education, K-12 Education, Federal Government, and Hospitality. He has over 30 years of experience in marketing IT systems to Global 1000 companies worldwide. Before joining Extreme Networks Bob was VP Marketing at Clear Methods. Prior to that Bob held senior marketing positions at Digital Equipment and HP. Bob holds an SB degree in EE from MIT and MBA from Columbia Business School.

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