Multipath, caused by RF signals reflected from the surfaces of physical obstructions, and external RF signals are two factors that potentially distort the original transmission of any 802.11 wireless network. In such conditions, a 1x1 device may struggle to decode a large amount of distorted signals, which results in the network having to retransmit the signals. A high retransmission rate in the ecosystem causes latency, packet loss, and medium congestion, which can then become a self-inflicting factor that impacts the air medium and capacity. However, the 2x2 devices are capable of taking advantage of the elevated gains of the multipath signals and using the maximum ratio combined (MRC) method to decode the distorted signals. Therefore, retransmission is not required.
No network environment is free of multipath, and no formula can predict the exact level of multipath impacting the 1x1 which may lead to retry and poor data transmission quality. It is recommended that users run pre-tests on the 1x1 models to evaluate the RF signal performance. In addition, users can use some RF spectrum survey tools and sniffers to detect the noise level and RF interference in the environment.