Ready For 1G bps Wi-Fi? - InformationWeek

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Commentary
2/8/2011
08:59 AM
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Ready For 1G bps Wi-Fi?

The thirst for faster speeds in IT is never ending. Consequently, wireless LAN suppliers are trying to boost the top speed of their devices from a few hundred M bps to 1G bps, a quest that market research firm In-Stat expects will be quite successful.

The thirst for faster speeds in IT is never ending. Consequently, wireless LAN suppliers are trying to boost the top speed of their devices from a few hundred M bps to 1G bps, a quest that market research firm In-Stat expects will be quite successful.Work on the new 802.11ac standard has been ongoing and a draft version is expected to be unveiled later this year. In-Stat projects that compliant products will begin shipping in 2012 and be found in more than 1 billion devices in 2015. Mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi will dominate this area, accounting for 800 million of the shipments, and by 2015, virtually all hotspot shipments will be 802.11ac compliant. In addition, the high speed wireless networking option will also find its way into notebooks, netbooks, tablets, PCs, gateways, routers, printers, and storage systems.

The emerging standard does face a few obstacles. Vendors have not yet agreed on a way to increase the speed, and a few options may emerge. In addition, there may be some unforeseen glitches in previous versions of the technology. For instance, early Wi-Fi systems had security holes, and problems arose with the radios used in more recent iterations of the wireless networking option.

Small and medium businesses do not need to be overly concerned about the movement to higher speed wireless LANs in the near term. However in the long term, the emergence of the new standard does offer them possible migration paths. In some cases, companies may want to move from wired LANs to wireless options, and in other instances, high bandwidth applications, such as video, may be stretching their network capacity. Eventually, 802.11ac could fill such voids.

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