Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast
The result will be multi-gigabit wireless networking -- aka turbo-charged Internet -- so fast that high-definition movies could begin streaming instantly or download in a matter of seconds to take on the go. Data files would transfer instantaneously, and consumers will no longer need an HDMI cable to bring Hulu LLC to their living room TV sets. They can go completely wireless, the organizations are promising.
The two groups will share their technology specs to develop a Wi-Fi Alliance certification program for WiFi in the 60MHz frequency band and to encourage vendors to start building products to support it. The WiGig standard, first unveiled in December, is shorter range than WiFi, but operates at a transmission speed of more than a gigabyte per second.
The Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig already have a number of shared members, including Dell Technologies (Nasdaq: DELL), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), and newest member Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO).
They also have a number of competitors. WiGig competes against technology like Bluetooth SIG Inc. 3.0 and Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE)'s TransferJet, as well as against industry association WirelessHD LLC , which has its own 60GHz technology in production. The group has yet to make any commercial products, and its standard requires a dedicated connection that's interrupted when other technologies come into range. This is a problem that WiFi would potentially alleviate.
Of course, WiFi enabled faster data transfers do not come without limitations either. WiFi in the 60GHz band requires line-of-sight to get a connection, whereas in the 2.4GHz spectrum, it can penetrate walls and cover an entire household. (See 60GHz Can Too Run a Home Network .)
That means WiGig won't become operators' home networking standard of choice anytime soon. Some operators in the US and abroad offer WiFi as an option to power the home network today. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) uses WiFi from Ruckus Wireless Inc. to support its in-home IPTV, but because of WiGig's limitations, the 60MHz spectrum isn't as likely to support any deployment that includes more than one room. (See Raising a Ruckus With U-verse and AT&T's U-verse Gets Ready for Ruckus .)
But for now, the Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig are only aiming to certify products to the emerging standard. Utilizing the faster speeds will require wireless routers and adapters that can accommodate "tri-band" WiFi that operates in 60MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum for backwards compatibility. These won't likely come to market for at least two years, making today's announcement phase one of a much longer process.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile