We check the availability of Wi-Fi as soon as we get home, at work, in a restaurant, at the airport, in a hotel … And, having connected to a wireless network, no one wants to wait longer than a couple of seconds for a Facebook page to refresh or an email to be downloaded. But the speed of Wi-Fi sometimes leaves much to be desired, especially if you are not sitting at home, but in a crowded cafe, office or airport. The reason for this trouble is SU-MIMO, a single-user data transfer technology. In modern routers, it is replaced by a more progressive MU-MIMO.
SU-MIMO and MU-MIMO: how do they differ?
MIMO stands for multiple input, multiple output – “multiple input, multiple output.” This is a spatial coding method of a signal using a system with multiple data transmission and reception channels.
There are two types of MIMOs, depending on the number of users to whom data is being transmitted simultaneously.
SU-MIMO: single-user MIMO systems (Single User MIMO) MU-MIMO: single-user MIMO systems (Multi User MIMO)
Now, Wi-Fi networks traditionally use technology in which the connection to the access point occurs sequentially, and at a certain period of time, all data streams are addressed to one user: while his device sends or receives data, the rest modestly wait for their turn. This is like getting lunch in the dining room: standing in line, you see the cook at the distribution, but there are two dozen colleagues ahead, and you will get your portion only after serving the people in front of you. With Wi-Fi in the case of SU-MIMO, the story is similar: due to the delay in waiting for the queue, the data exchange speed decreases, and even when at home in the stable reception zone, the phone or tablet does not always connect to the network instantly or for a long time to load pages.
Why change anything at all, if all is well?
“But we normally lived with existing Wi-Fi technologies,” you say. Well, here’s a couple of interesting facts. Most users update their home router every 3-5 years. For the world of technology, this is equivalent to 30-50 years! For example, five years ago, almost no one even thought about the Internet of things or the “smart home.”