Yeah but would you really be an early adopter for Wave 1 802.11ac ? In a mixed environment, are you really going to get any true benefits over 802.11n ? The costs are greater for ac, can you justify it for the difference it makes ?
These are not easy questions.
There can be additional costs that may be associated to upgrading to 11AC.
What many Wi-Fi suppliers won’t tell you is that deploying 11AC may require you to upgrade your switching infrastructure to higher powered 802.3at PoE switches to realise the full benefits of their 802.11ac access points.
Originally Posted by neilmac
Initally no, but over the lifespan of the product? It's an important question to ask suppliers when you go out to tender. What is the expected lifespan of the kit? How will the supplier support the installation post-sale, and for how long?
I'm of a mind that wave 1 in a mixed environment is probably right now, by the time you replace the equipment the industry would have (hopefully) long since moved into wave 2. If I understand correctly clients will work with both waves of .ac but you won't get the full benefit of wave 2 until you have wave 2 clients and wave 2 access points? A bit like the change from .n to .ac?
Wave 1 is more on the capabilities of the chipset, less about the clients - even now, for example, how many 802.11n clients are capable of MCS15 and 40MHz ?
As net-Ctrl points out, there may be switching and cabling upgrades to make.
Suppliers will tell you anything you need to hear in order to buy their kit. Very few suppliers are trained beyond vendor courses. Many installers have no training or qualifications, and do not use professional tools. Access point positioning is pretty random. The network is just kind of "stuck in". Like a crash helmet a size too small, it does its job but it's always going to be painful.
What any buyer needs to do is learn the technology enough to understand what's at stake or to bring in the services of an independent expert. WiFi is not easy.