By: J.D. Ross
(315) 443-3094

The Center for Convergence and Emerging Networking Technologies (CCENT) at the School of Information Studies (iSchool) recently concluded competitive Wi-Fi testing on hardware from leading wireless networking suppliers including Aruba, Aerohive, Cisco, Meraki, and Ruckus Wireless.

Comprehensive testing, performed in the lab by graduate students in the iSchool’s Telecommunications and Network Management program and directed by Associate Professor of Practice David Molta, provided the first view into the real-world performance of emerging three-stream 802.11n enterprise Wi-Fi systems.

This new three-stream 802.11n technology allows wireless access points to use multiple Wi-Fi radio chains to simultaneously transmit different streams to receiving devices. Three-stream capable receiving devices are able to combine these streams to achieve higher data rates. 

Testing was conducted during a 7-month period from April to October, and included 1,500 test runs. Traditional campus Wi-Fi access, AirOrangeX, was shut off in Hinds Hall during overnight testing periods, to ensure a test environment that was free from other radio interference.

“We set out to systematically evaluate how the throughput of leading wireless products maps to data rate claims made by their vendors,” explained Molta. “We believe that these tests provide information about 3-stream wireless performance that will be valuable to network managers.”

Information and test results are available in a report, published on the CCENT website.