When will Aironets support 802.11ac? We need to deploy wireless throughout a large building, and we're having issues with N. We're wanting to try AC to get a better range. I tested an AirPort Extreme which gave good results, but we're trying to use as much Cisco gear as possible due to the better business grade features.
Cisco AP 2700 and AP 3700 are 802.11ac "ready". This means you don't need to purchase anything but the AP and 802.11ac is supported natively. All you need is a WLC running the right firmware code, enable 80 Mhz channel width.
Now, what I've discussed above is on the wireless side. The next bit is the LAN side. I have a question for you to chew on: How do you push 1.3 Gbps worth of data down a 1 Gbps pipe (from the AP to the switch)? Cisco's solution is the new series of switches with a WLC built-in, they are the 3650 and 3850 and Cisco's Unified Access.
The cornerstone of Unified Access and 802.11ac is that the APs, 2700 and/or 3700, must be DIRECTLY CONNECTED to the switches (3650 or 3850).
You will need to contact your authorized Cisco retailer or contact your local Cisco SE for wireless or your Cisco AM for more info.
The Aironet 2700 (3x4 MIMO) and 3700 (4x4 MIMO) are newer products and offer built-in support for 802.11ac via internal or external antennas, depending on the model. The Aironet 3600 is a slightly older platform supporting 802.11ac via an add-on radio module (3x3 MIMO) which can be purchased for $500.
The Aironet 2700 and 3700 are also slated to support the next generation Wave 2 module that will be released in the future as the development evolves. All three of these options are controller based (only) and support a wide selection of controller options