Apple is partnering with Broadcom to bring super-fast Wi-Fi to its 2013 Mac lineup. The newest addition to the 802.11 group of wireless networking standards, 802.11ac allows for high-speed wireless connections on the 5 GHz band. Products utilizing 802.11ac have only recently started appearing on the market, primarily wireless routers.
The primary purpose of this standard is to dramatically increase the speed of network connections, improving on the 802.11n standard, as The Next Web’s Matt Brian writes:
802.11ac is often referred to as 5G WiFi, offering faster throughput, higher capacity, wider coverage and improved power efficiency. Products offering 802.11n connectivity (found in most consumer electronics) provide connections up to 450 Mbps with three antennas, while 802.11ac equivalents start at 450 Mbps for one antennae and are capable of almost tripling its predecessor with 1.3Gbps throughput via three antennas.
Most home internet connections don’t even reach 450 Mbps yet, and as such 802.11ac will facilitate faster communication between devices, rather than accommodating faster internet connections, at least for the time being. This means that features like AirDrop and AirPlay would be in for a major speed boost on newer Macs. Interestingly, current 802.11ac chipsets are geared more towards smaller devices like smartphones and tablets, meaning that iOS devices with super-fast Wi-Fi might see the light of day in the near future.
Source: The Next Web