MU-MIMO or multiple-user-multi-in/multi-out is a wireless networking technology within the 802.11ac standard which can use multiple antennas to send and receive to numerous clients simulaneously. The MU-MIMO tech also known as AC Wave 2, is a next generation design on the 802.11ac standard, which itself had improved upon it’s 802.11n Wifi predecessor.

Cisco Systems provides an excellent FAQ on their website outlining the 802.11ac spec, including chart below.

It all sounds very good in theory, but there have been a lot of networking technologies in the past which have made ambitious claims only to have the real world performance gains turn out less than staggering.  Oftentimes wide ranging environmental variables in diverse applications and harsh operating conditions can dampen the marketing brochure bar graphs obtained in pristine lab conditions.

So how much performance improvements can users of 802.11ac and MU-MIMO technologies expect in the real world?  Craig Mathias and his team at Network Computing got to work with an elaborate well thought out set of performance tests to find the answer.  Check out their results at the article here.

“For this test the objective was to determine what, if any, benefits might accrue from the application of MU-MIMO and to quantify these in an RF-isolated, repeatable test environment thus realizing the long-sought-after level-playing-field, apples-to-apples setting.” – Craig Mathias – Network Computing