It won’t be CES without the unveiling of a new router from ASUS. This year CES ASUS announced the RT-AX88U router. As the name would have given away, the router comes equipped with the new AX wireless protocol, making it the first router to be released with this latest wireless technology standard. The 802.11ax specification is not expected to be finalized and publicized until 2019. This router clearly packs technology ahead of its time.
What makes the RT-AX88U much more compelling is that the router uses MU-MIMO and orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) technology to connect to multiple devices simultaneously and more efficiently. This provides four times faster throughput than 802.11ac routers on crowded networks.
The next-generation RT-AX88U 802.11ax Wi-Fi supports unprecedented combined speeds of up to 5952 Mbps – 1148 Mbps on the 2.4GHz band and 4804 Mbps on the 5GHz band, with 4×4 MIMO in both bands. Only three companies – Quantenna, Qualcomm and Broadcom have 802.11ax-enabled silicon as of the end of August 2017; ASUS elected to use Broadcom’s solutions. New technologies for the 802.11ax include OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing, which should enable better spectral efficiency in convoluted network conditions) and MU-MIMO (Multi-User MIMO). Thanks to this, the 802.11ax technology provides 4x faster throughput than 802.11ac technology on connected devices in dense environments, while also increasing network capacity and efficiency. This means the ASUS RT-AX88U supports more simultaneous data transfers than 802.11ac MU-MIMO routers, allowing more devices to have faster network access at the same time without waiting for each other – perfect for homes with a growing number of smart, connected devices. RT-AX88U uses TWT technology to reduce unnecessary communications to 802.11ax devices, reducing power consumption and improving device battery life. Pricing wasn’t announced at time of writing.