OnQ Blog

Super-Speedy Wi-Fi On The Way

30 Mar 2012

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

The next generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac, is coming soon – and it promises potential data speeds in excess of 1 Gbps.  

That means faster speeds, better range, and longer battery life.  “Among other things, 802.11ac will work exclusively in 5 GHz band—offering much greater capacity than the cluttered 2.4 GHz band,” Fierce Broadband explains.  “(It) will employ much wider communications channels, make better use of MIMO technologies and provide a higher modulation coding scheme to improve Wi-Fi throughput and performance.”

The 802.11ac technology will also offer the network muscle needed to accommodate an expected explosion of connected devices, each of which may gobble more data than ever.

Five years ago, most homes had 2 or 3 computers connected to the Internet, Craig Barratt, president of Qualcomm Atheros, said at a recent media event.  Today there are easily 10 or 15 connected devices in a house, he says. 

“You have gaming devices, you have every smartphone, tablet and eBook Reader. You likely have a TV or a Netflix player, potentially embedded into a DVD player,” he says.

Faster, more efficient networking solutions – such as those offered by 802.11ac – are critical to preventing a digital traffic jam, he says.  (To meet that need, Qualcomm recently announced the industry’s first combo Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/FM chip for mobile devices.)

Michael Copeland

Sr. Manager, Marketing

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Qualcomm and 802.11ax Wi-Fi tech: Game-changing breakthrough for dense networks

Guest blogger Mike Feibus is Principal Analyst of Feibus Tech. He is a well-recognized and oft-quoted expert on connected health and fitness, smart home, connected car, augmented reality/virtual reality, privacy and security. Feibus is also a regular technology columnist for USA TODAY and Fortune. The views expressed are the author’s own, and do not necessarily represent the views of Qualcomm.

The demand on Wi-Fi networks has changed. But Wi-Fi technology has been sometimes slow to respond.

Indeed, the proliferation of connected devices combined with exploding demand for video streaming is straining Wi-Fi deployments across the globe most glaringly on congested networks during peak usage times.

FeibusTech believes that the just-announced 802.11ax Wi-Fi chipsets from Qualcomm Technologies are set to change all that. The wireless pioneer unveiled a new approach to the evolution of Wi-Fi with a pair of chipsets that support 802.11ax. The emerging industry standard borrows cellular-industry advances to help Wi-Fi serve much more data to many more devices. The two chipsets the IPQ8074 for routers and the QCA6290 for laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other client devices — together make up the first comprehensive offering announced for the developing Wi-Fi standard.

Now, finally, the focus of Wi-Fi development is shifting from optimizing bandwidth connection speeds to an individual device to maximizing capacity. That is, ensuring that all devices on crowded networks get the bandwidth they need. The market needs to understand that capacity, not peak speed, is the most important measure for Wi-Fi networks, and that is why we think 802.11ax is a game changer.

Read my full post on this topic


14 Feb 2017