Broadcom joins the Wi-Fi Wave 2 party, launches new portfolio

Broadcom announced a new portfolio of Wi-Fi Wave 2 solutions for enterprise wireless access points (APs). The expanded portfolio targets various segments of the enterprise and cloud WLAN markets, including campus, education, hospitality, healthcare and public venues.

The portfolio includes the BCM43465 (4x4 11ac MU-MIMO) and BCM43525 (3x3 11ac MU-MIMO) for high-performance APs. With the BCM43465, Broadcom says it is the only vendor able to support 2.2 Gbps and four concurrent MU-MIMO devices, enabling the highest density of client support for the enterprise market. MU-MIMO combined with 160 MHz enables devices to fully use available bandwidth to deliver more than two times the performance.

"This is very significant for our customers," Mike Powell, director of product market for Enterprise Wireless at Broadcom, told FierceWirelessTech via email. "With the changing landscape of the increasingly connected and mobile workplace, our customers require powerful and reliable solutions that deliver an exceptional Wi-Fi experience in high-density environments.

"With the BCM43465/BCM43525, we have created the most full-featured Wave 2 solution on the market, which includes features like: MU-MIMO, 160 Mhz, 3+1 mode Spectrum Mode, Zero-Wait DFS," Powell added. "As new smartphones, PCs and tablets roll out in the next couple of years, many of these features will play a larger role. This is particularly important for enterprise customers looking to purchase/upgrade APs that will live in their networks for the next 5-7 years and need to support those features."

As Powell alluded to, smartphones, tablets and laptops need to be upgraded with the MU-MIMO technology for the real impact to be felt. More products are coming, however. PCWorld points out that just last week, Acer announced new Aspire E laptops with MU-MIMO and Xiaomi launched the $200 Mi 4i smartphone, which also has the technology built in.

With the BCM47452, Broadcom claims to have created an 802.11ac AP with the lowest cost, smallest form factor available, allowing its OEMs to replace the most cost-sensitive part of their portfolio--which today is 802.11n--and better serve all customers with the latest flavor of Wi-Fi. "We have put a lot of effort into making sure we provide our customers with all the key features, plus some advanced features exclusively from Broadcom," Powell said.

Broadcom's BCM43465, BCM43525 and BCM47452 are now sampling, and the first products powered by the chipsets are expected to arrive during the second half of the year.

Meanwhile, Ruckus Wireless became the first enterprise wireless equipment vendor to roll out an 802.11ac Wave 2 access point in early April with the release of the ZoneFlex R710.

This week, Ruckus announced that it successfully deployed and is operating a Smart Wi-Fi network based on Wave 2 features at the annual Interop show in Las Vegas. The demo features the ZoneFlex R710 AP. Initial performance statistics for Day 1 of the expo--Tuesday, April 28--showed there were 2,790 unique concurrent devices connected during peak usage time, with nearly 1 TB of data transferred, operating in the face of more than 4,000 interfering rogue devices, the company said in a press release.

The Interop Wi-Fi network includes seven Ruckus ZoneFlex R710 802.11ac Wave 2 4x4:4 indoor APs that Ruckus provided free-of-charge to Interop Las Vegas for the conference, integrated with Ruckus-patented BeamFlex+ adaptive antenna technology, designed to enhance the operation of Wave 2 802.11ac technology by optimizing antenna coverage on a per client, per transmission basis. The Interop network is centrally managed with a Ruckus ZoneDirector 3000 Series controller.

For more:
- see this PCWorld article
- see this EE Times article
- see this Broadcom press release
- see this Ruckus press release

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