While WiGig isn’t necessarily new technology (It’s been kicking around as a prototype for a couple of years), it’s usefulness has become much more evident recently. While WiGig has previously been dismissed as a niche technology and promoted by a few select advocates, the recent need to transition devices and networks to a new band has become vital.
Typical wireless networks, especially those in the 802.11ac standard, use the 2.5 and 5 GHz frequency bands, which are already beginning to become congested. Meanwhile, the 802.11ad protocol used by WiGig is operating on the 60 GHz highway, which is largely unused. This wider channel could allow up to 8 Gbps of transfer speeds.
The trouble with getting WiGig off the ground centers around adoption and compatibility. While a couple of businesses including Qualcomm and Intel have been trying to promote WiGig to the general consumer for the last few years, the amount of devices that are able to support it remains limited. It also suffered because traditional wi-fi connection has been cheaper and more reliable for most of the population.
This Monday, WiGig passed a key milestone with the launch of its certification program called the Wireless Alliance. The certification program, in addition to the fact that airwaves for traditional wi-fi are becoming more crowded, may mean that WiGig may finally catch on this time. The certification program is also looking to encourage the production the production of networking devices and hardware that can support the 25 and 5 GHz bands in addition to the 60 GHz band for increased interchangeability.
“The total WiGig-enabled product market will surpass 1 billion in 2020,” predicted Philip Solis, an analyst with ABI Research. Those products will include 60 million home network devices, half a billion phones and 70 million laptops, he said.
While the boost in speeds will most certainly assist users in downloading massive files in seconds, WiGig will probably fit well with wireless connections that require zero latency.
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