We also have no plans for it at the moment, it could change in the future, if there would be a measurable benefit, or if it becomes easier or cheaper to implement. This text applies to all features that we don't haveyet
Beamforming is great to increase coverage. You get some additional gain. So it is a feature which is more worth than additional bandwidth in some cases. We have (expenisve) wimax systems which do beamforming. Coverage is incredible. With some newer .ac-chipsets this will be much more affordable. The atheros chipset MT uses at the moment does no beamforming.that would be quit fat setup, not widely distributed/sold and thus not very interested for majority of brands, yet.
how much even top-dog consumer routers with more than 4 antennas do you see?(including internal)among mass-sold?
i managed to find two with 6 and 8, respectively and each time someone ask dealer about in their retail store, they laugh, telling about
there isn't point to rushing into "very specific market niche" just for fun. like bringing 6x6 or 9x9 or fatter, introducing something like QAM512/QAM512 or unapproved-yet more compelx modulations.
since 60GHz adoption there(expected at end of this year or so)would be bit more fun and more bandwith(but internal antennas in majority of proposed devices, spoil portions of it. but at benefits of DRAMATICALLY reduced cost of devices.
The benefit is you get higher modulation rates and therefore higher speeds at higher distances. As the beams are steared they do interfere less with the next sector using the same frequency. Dont neglect the sense of beamforming.Beamforming. Interesting subject. But imho more a nice sales tool than real improvement.
I have had the change to play with some beam forming product from Ruckus. (Proprietary add-on at the time for 802.11b/g/n)
It works but with one big "BUT".
I have done tests with a laptop and walked away from an beamforming AP. It kept the laptop connected to a certain range.
BUT the moment the laptop disconnected for whatever reason (wifi is dynamic, device is mobile) I had to walk several meters back close to the AP to get enough signal again to get the unit associated again....
So where is now the benefit?
The improvement is not marginal if done right. When chipset makers integrate it you'll see improvements even when their products are integrated by marketing companies.
Conclusion would be it works than better for fixed antenna installations. OK. But to be honest, there are easier ways of increasing range for such installations. Like better antenna's.
I don't know, I still think 'beamforming' will be a very marginal improvement in radio's that can do it against relative high costs (extra antennas and powerful cpu needed).
But on the other hand, I can already imagine which competitor of MikroTik will use this feature to the most in their promotion of their so called 'carrier grade' product line......
). One addition: Stations have to support Beamforming for a good solution. In Wimax and .ac there are sounding mechanisms. The station gives information back to the AP so he knows the signal received at the station. This helps to adapt the beam. This is the difference between open and closed loop beamforming.@ste; hmm, I have to agree in a great deal with you. And any improvement is an improvement, no matter how small.
Actually in re-thinking; I was more thinking the technology would be for moving or mobile stations. But here the issue is still that when a device moves out of the range of the beam from the AP you have to bring it back much closer to the AP to get it connected again to make use of it again. I think this negative effect (and very irritating I tell you!) is mostly overlooked.
For fixed network WISP operators indeed your argument stands. I now also see your point. If due the 'beam' now you can sustain a one or two level higher MCS-rate your throughput could indeed increase noticeable, special if it also helps to create higher signal to noise levels.
(Preferably station should also do beam forming, special in PtP links. I'll guess in PtMP situations the stations are usually downloading more that uploading so the connection rate fm AP to Station bears more importance than the reverse. So now it would be OK if only AP has the feature...)
And for WISP it might also be a help to get problematic NLOS link to work (better)?
Actually I even see an option for a urbanized 'forest' where traditional wifi is hardly economic possible due the many tall trees and the dense AP network (mesh) you need to cover all houses.
Here beamforming might well help a lot to get as many as possible connected without too many AP's needed....
Ok, I'm over; we despirately need beam forming!
Based on this and this Why people pair UBNT APs with MikroTik routers? Then..And after 6 years still the same ...we don't have any beamforming products yet.