US firm Linksys has announced the availability of its first MU-MIMO enabled 802.11ac Wave 2 Wi-Fi access point (AP) purpose-built for small business – the LAPAC2600 Linksys Business Pro Series, dual-band MU-MIMO AP.
Linksys claims to be first to market with a small business AP supporting MU-MIMO (Multi-User, Multiple-Input, Multiple Output) technology, which helps improve overall performance and efficiency of a Wi-Fi network while providing dedicated bandwidth to MU-MIMO capable client devices as if they have their own dedicated router.
Current Wave 2 APs are designed for the needs of large enterprises and cost more than £1,000, making MU-MIMO unaffordable and out of reach for small businesses, the company said. At an RRP of £374.99, the LAPAC2600 is priced to provide the best value for resellers that cater to the small business market.
MU-MIMO is available in the next phase of the Wi-Fi 802.11ac (Wave 2) standard and provides higher bandwidth and greater throughput for wireless networks. With MU-MIMO, the entire office can simultaneously video conference, download large e-mail attachments and media content, sync large files from local fileservers or cloud storage service, stream presentations – without lag or buffering.
“The consumption of Wi-Fi in the office is growing rapidly and places heavy demands on wireless networks today. A robust network infrastructure is necessary to deliver bandwidth-intensive applications such as IP communications and HD Video,” said Nandan Kalle, director of commercial networking, Linksys.
“MU-MIMO is a game-changing technology that improves overall performance and efficiency of a Wi-Fi network, bringing tremendous benefits to businesses such as improved collaboration and employee productivity.”
The new Linksys MU-MIMO access point is targeted at high-density environments where congestion issues are prevalent such as bullpens, open workspaces, and conference rooms. With the additional network capacity and higher data rates available with MU-MIMO, small businesses no longer have to suffer network performance issues and can give employees and customers a superior user experience, according to Linksys
The LAPAC2600 features 4x4 dual-band AC (2.4+5GHz) delivering combined speeds of up to 2.53Gbps (depending on a variety of factors) to multiple connected devices, for faster, more robust wireless performance. Deployment and management of the AP is easy through an intuitive web interface, support for PoE+, clustering, and advanced security features help to protect and secure wireless networks. Key features and benefits include:
• Next Generation AC Wi-Fi Connectivity – allows multiple clients to transmit data simultaneously, improving performance and productivity in high-density wireless environments.
• Clustering (single point control) – enables small businesses and IT Administrators to manage up to 16 APs through a single interface without a WLAN controller.
• Captive Portal (Secure and customised guest Wi-Fi access) – a fully customisable landing page for businesses to welcome visitors and provide wireless access in a branded environment that is separated from the core business network.
• Flexible Deployment – can be deployed as a typical access point, as a wireless distribution system (WDS), or as a workgroup bridge to extend your wireless range coverage.
• Easy to Use with PoE+ – integrated with 802.3at PoE+ capability to eliminate extra power adapters and offer optimal placement. It also provides an intuitive Web administrative interface, easy to set up and easy to use.
• Advanced Security Over Wireless – includes Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA/WPA2), 802.1X Supplicant Authentication, MAC and IP-Based ACL, Rogue AP Detection, SSID-to-VLAN Mapping, Wireless Scheduler, and more.
• Beamforming – is designed to precisely adjust, steer and monitor the direction and shape of the Wi-Fi signals for better performance.
In the BYOD world, SMB users are bringing MU-MIMO enabled handsets and tablets to work – driving the demand for MU-MIMO in the business. According to a white paper by ABI Research: The Importance Of Mu-Mimo In The Wi-Fi Ecosystem, more than 84% of all wireless 5GHz chipsets will be MU-MIMO enabled by 2019.
Kalle continued: “Given the replacement cycle of APs and the influx of MU-MIMO-enabled clients coming on the market, it only makes sense to deploy a network that supports them, or a small business runs the risk of negatively impacting company operations and giving employees and customers a degraded Wi-Fi experience. With MU-MIMO, small businesses can relieve congestion today while future-proofing their networks for tomorrow.”
A pioneer of MU-MIMO products, Linksys claims to have the largest and broadest portfolio of MU-MIMO home Wi-Fi solutions on the market and is now incorporating the technology into its business-class wireless access points. Even legacy devices in the office can take advantage of MU-MIMO with the Linksys USB MU-MIMO Adapter.
Linksys MAX-STREAM AC600 USB MU-MIMO adapter (WUSB6100M)
The Linksys AC600 USB Adapter is the first MU-MIMO enabled adapter on the market. It enables users to connect their laptops and computers to a MU-MIMO access point for optimal performance, so users can easily stream high-definition video and make VoIP calls. Additional features include:
• AC Wave 2 - MU-MIMO (AC433/N150)
• Beamforming for more reliable connections
• USB 2.0
• Simple plug and play setup
• Works with Any Wi-Fi Router; Optimised with Linksys Max-Stream solutions
Pricing and availability
The LAPAC2600 Linksys Pro AC dual-band access point is immediately available at a RRP of £374.99 through major distributors and resellers. SMBs and resellers can find a participating distributor at this website: http://www.linksys.com/gb/wheretobuy/distributors/
The Linksys AC600 MU-MIMO USB Adapter (WUSB6100M) is immediately available at a RRP of £24.99 at Linksys.co.uk and at leading retail and online retailers.