The AirPort Extreme, limited speed

Apple’s decision to use 2.4 and 5 GHz bandwidths in the new AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless base station could have negative implications for users in some European countries, including find Spain.

Unlike many of the pre-n-standard base stations available on the market, Apple takes advantage of a feature that is currently optional in 802.11n and allows the use of frequency spectra corresponding to the 2 , 4 and 5 GHz. Most manufacturers, including Belkin, only use 2.4 GHz; that is, the same frequency range as that used by 802.11g.

Support for the two bands means that the AirPort Extreme can operate on both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz frequencies; which means that Apple units support the full spectrum of 802.11. B, G and N, and A. The ability to operate on the 5 GHz frequency is crucial since it is a frequency less prone to interference, according to Apple. It also means that if your 802.11n network has problems with one spectrum it can switch to the other.

However, everything indicates that this decision will limit the maximum speed that the device can reach in Spain, the United Kingdom, Austria, Germany, Estonia, Slovakia and Latvia.

The manufacturer indicates that the new AirPort Extreme offers higher speed compared to its immediate predecessor. In the US the new AirPort Extreme is up to five times faster compared to the previous base station. However, in Spain and in the rest of the European countries indicated, the device is only 2.5 times faster. The reason is due to existing restrictions in the regulation that prohibit multichannel operation.

As an expert in the field explained to Macworld: “The 802.11n standard offers a frequency bandwidth that determines the speed that can be achieved. This amount can be 20 MHz or 40 MHz, with a 20 MHz correspondence for an increase speed of 2.5 over 11g, and 40 MHz with a 5x boost using the 5 GHz frequency. “

If the theory is correct, it could imply that only a maximum speed increase of 2.5 times can be achieved over the previous base station, due to its choice of the 5 GHz frequency. According to this source, “Most of the manufacturers have not adopted this frequency so that they can use 40 MHz and therefore obtain the maximum speed of 5x over 11g “.