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The problem is the number of antennas

Taking into account that the standard allows theoretical speeds very close to 1 Gbps, many users when performing speed tests of their FTTH lines using the mobile terminal are surprised that despite being very close to the router and without any type of An obstacle, the speed obtained does not correspond, for example, to the 200 Mbps or 300 Mbps that many fixed connections have today.

Some users even call it misleading advertising, even claiming that it is a Wi-Fi N interface instead of AC, using the latter as a marketing tool.

However, all this has a reason that we will explain below.

802.11ac: Everything you need to know about the new Wi-Fi standard

Wi-Fi AC has different types of configurations depending on the number of antennas

All those users who obtain an effective speed close to 170 Mbps should know that the Wi-Fi connection of their smartphone it is 1 × 1 MIMO. This means that there is only one antenna and the theoretical throughput is 433 Mbps, the effective speed being the one we have mentioned previously. It is a Wi-Fi AC configuration but, as can be seen, it has insufficient performance for existing FTTH connections.

The user will be able to find configurations that use more antennas and therefore their performance is better. If we talk about the one that has 2 antennas, known as 2 × 2 MIMO, the theoretical speed is 867 Mbps, that is, double with respect to the previous one, causing the effective speed to be around 400 Mbps, complying with the needs that users currently have and avoiding the appearance of a bottleneck that does cause 1 × 1 MIMO.

The manufacturers do not detail it in the specifications of the smartphones with AC Wi-Fi

After clarifying where the problem is, now it must be added that the user will encounter difficulties regarding the equipment documentation, since they will never find related information on the manufacturer’s page. Without going any further, when looking at the specifications of iPhone 6s in the wireless networks section we can see that the manufacturer includes AC MIMO but without specifying what type of configuration it is, so that the user when they have the device and perform the Test will find out how well the terminal performs in this regard.

It could be said that manufacturers use Wi-Fi AC commercially in this case to add value to the device, but without specifying what type of configuration or the performance of the interface.

It may interest you:

Wi-Fi AC is approaching the speed of the Gigabit Ethernet interface

Wi-Fi AC with MU-MIMO technology: Everything you need to know