13 things you need to know about MU-MIMO Wi-Fi

It’s a big breakthrough in wireless connectivity, but don’t let MU-MIMO’s limitations catch you off-guard.

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It's been nearly 20 years since Wi-Fi made its debut, and one of its most significant innovations to date is now beginning to spread: MU-MIMO, an optional feature in Wave 2 of the emerging 802.11ac wireless standard.

MU-MIMO stands for multi-user multiple input and multiple output. It builds on single-user MIMO (SU-MIMO), which was introduced close to a decade ago with the 802.11n standard.

SU-MIMO increases Wi-Fi speeds by allowing a pair of wireless devices to simultaneously send or receive multiple data streams. MU-MIMO ups the ante, allowing multiple devices to simultaneously receive the multiple data streams. It is one of the most complex Wi-Fi features to date.

MU-MIMO vs. SU-MIMO Qualcomm

SU-MIMO technology allows multiple input and output streams with one device at a time, whereas MU-MIMO allows simultaneous communication with multiple devices.

As 802.11ac Wave 2 wireless routers and access points (APs) hit the market, anyone who supports a Wi-Fi network will need to get educated about MU-MIMO. Read on for 13 facts that will help get you up to speed.

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