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Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

Two global standards organizations have found a use for the super-fast 60GHz frequency band. The Wi-Fi Alliance is joining forces with the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig) to move WiFi from the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands to 60GHz, where it will transfer data up to 10 times faster than the current 802.11n WiFi protocol.

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

wentriken 12/5/2012 | 4:36:48 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

When is the last time you worried about exceeding 54 Mbit/s on your wireless network?


 

cnwedit 12/5/2012 | 4:36:47 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast I can certainly see why having wireless in-home connections that deliver HD video from a broadband platform to the TV display is in demand, but if it requires line-of-sight connections, this new standard come with built-in limitations that arent' that easily overcome.
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:36:46 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

 


I do in my IT role at my workplace so that I can eliminate more cabling.


 


seven


 

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:36:34 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

 


Current WiFi does not require LOS.  I answered the question about who wants more than 54Mb/s.  I did not say that I required more BW but was okay with LOS as a requirement.  It is not.


seven


 

AllKindsOfThings 12/5/2012 | 4:36:34 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

Looking at my IT workplace, I wonder how good it could replace most of the cables considering that most of my cables are mounted in many ways, but most certainly nowhere close to what I could call "line of sight" by any means of interpretation.


I guess that lack of setup flexibility and unbiquitous applicability for line of sight technology like Infrared was the key reason for why it was replaced by Bluetooth in consumer and computer equipment.  It has a much more convenient connection setup, requiring mostly only to have a reasonably low distance between the connecting parties.  


 

AllKindsOfThings 12/5/2012 | 4:36:33 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

Yes, I'm reasonably aware of WiFI properties :-)


But just out of curiosity (and in this very same use case = same room data cable replacement): How far in bandwidth do you think we *could* get at maximum before a LOS requirement comes into play and ruins ease of use (and where do you see the respective block of spectrum)?


 


All the best !

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:36:32 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

 


Depends on the power you are thinking about transmitting.  There have been nLOS systems for WAN connectivity for a long time.  Don't think we want to get that high, but 100Mb/s seems completely reasonable, potentially several times that.


This is all based around what a reasonable power output might be and a reasonable distance might be and yet not require LOS.


seven


 


PS - This would probably have to support both 2.4 and 5 GHz ranges plus anything else reasonable that anybody could come up with that is open.


 

rjmcmahon 12/5/2012 | 4:36:27 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

re: "How far in bandwidth do you think we *could* get at maximum before a LOS requirement comes into play"


I'm no WiFi expert but I measure 240Mbs using a MIMO 2x2 on 5G carrier and 40Mhz, while the RF is in a "controlled environment" it isn't LOS.  Seems like getting up to 1G without LOS is doable to me (at least from this data point.)






paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 4:36:19 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

 


Again for higher power WiFi, at least I could care less about the home environment.  I recognize others have different needs.  I thought the short distance very high speed stuff was going to be the purview of UWB.  I am looking for more BW out of today's access point arrangement.  I have a relatively small office and would like to provide people with just laptops with wifi connectivity instead of using any wired connecitivity at all to them.  Servers and Access Points would be another matter.


The whole goal for me is to reduce the load on my IT department to manage moves, adds, and changes.


seven


 

AllKindsOfThings 12/5/2012 | 4:36:19 PM
re: Wi-Fi Alliance, WiGig Align to Make WiFi Super Fast

@brookseven: I guess the transmission power should be compatible to allow for always-on use with small kids permanently around at home - considering the use case we have is to replace most of the digital transmission related cabling in a room (not neccesarily even reaching the neighboring room).


So it should be around, better be less than WiFi. I assume a rather typical WiFi access point output power was 100 mW, and coverage for a single room, even for a larger room, should be OK if you can reach 100 foot without line of sight.


 


 

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