Apple is working on supporting 802.11ac, a fast, next generation wireless technology that hasn’t been formally ratified by the standards body that controls the 802.11 family of technologies. AppleInsider reported that Apple could be deploying the new technology as soon as this year, bringing theoretical wireless speeds faster than 1 Gigabit per second to its Macs, iOS devices, and AirPort line of base stations.
Apple currently supports 802.11a/b/g and n in its devices, but the 802.11ac version of WiFi could bring local network speeds of a Gigabit per second to your Apple products. It does so by using more radio bandwidth, more efficiently managing local traffic, and by using up to eight antennas.
Apple has a long history of quietly building support for so-called “draft” version of 802.11x into its products ahead of their official ratification by the 802.111 Working Group. By doing so, Apple has been able to be first, or among the first, out of the gate to support the new protocols once they are released into the wild.
Apple has built-in support for Wi-Fi in the form of 802.11n (and backwards-compatible to the earlier versions) in its Macs, Apple TV, iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad. The company’s markets a line of Wi-Fi base stations under the AirPort Extreme name, while it has a networked backup device called Time Capsule that includes storage and an AirPort Extreme base station.