It wasn’t too long ago that 802.11ac became the new standard for Wi-Fi. With Wi-Fi dependent devices such as smartphones and tablets, higher network capacity became a necessity, and 802.11n could only provide so much speed. 802.11ac brought us blazing speeds that handled even the most network-hungry households; at the time, 802.11ac was more than enough for wireless demands.
Fast forward to present day, and our network demands have evolved yet again. We have more wireless devices in our households than ever before, and each device demands more data. The once venerable 802.11ac is now in 11n’s shoes. This is where the 802.11ad standard comes into play. 802.11ad, dubbed “WiGig,” is the next step in Wi-Fi’s evolution, and with it comes multi-gigabit speeds, lower latency and greater network capacity.
Qualcomm Atheros and Intel have revealed that a comprehensive WiGig ecosystem has been in development for months. The two companies have conducted numerous tests using WiGig-compatible clients across multiple scenarios. The ways wireless technology can be conducted is nearly limitless, but the partnership between Intel and Qualcomm Atheros is dedicated to addressing as many use cases as possible so as to ensure interoperability by the time consumer WiGig products hit the mainstream market.
There’s still a long way to go before we see full WiGig adoption. The first consumer 802.11ad router was announced not too long ago, and soon enough router vendors will be offering WiGig routers in droves. The question now remains: How will this technology be applied? Perhaps 4K streaming will become a non-issue on the sufficiently fast 60 GHz band? Maybe in-home streaming for VR gaming might not only be possible, but feasible? With the speed WiGig will offer, we’ll almost certainly see new ways Wi-Fi can be utilized altogether.