The use of the Internet has exponentially grown that even the usually wider highway of Wi-Fi networks have already become crowded. And just like real-world vehicular traffic, congested networks mean slow-moving data. Trying to prevent an Internet catastrophe before it happens, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the start of a certification program that could herald the arrival of networking devices next year supporting WiGig, or multi-gigabyte Wi-Fi 802.11ad on the 60 GHz band.
WiGig actually isn’t new but so far it has been a very niche and nascent technology that only a few advocates have been pushing forward. But with the dramatic increase in wireless network usage, the need to transition devices and networks over to a new band has become critical.
Regular Wi-Fi networks today, particularly those on the 802.11ac protocol, utilize the 2.5 and 5 GHz frequency bands. But even those have already started to become congested. The 802.11ad protocol, on the other hand, rides on the mostly unused 60 GHz highway. This wider channel allows, in theory, up to 8 Gbps of transfer speeds.
The problem with WiGig, despite its drool-worthy numbers, is one of adoption and compatibility. While a few like Intel and Qualcomm have been trying to push WiGig into mainstream consciousness, the number of devices that support it remain sparse. This certification program aims to encourage the production of networking devices and hardware that not only support the 60 GHz band but can also fall back to the regular 2.5 and 5 GHz bands for maximum interoperability.
While the speed boost will definitely help users download HD movies in just seconds, WiGig will appeal more to wireless connections that require zero latency, especially over short distances. In particular, that technology will make it possible to have super fast wireless docks as well as wireless VR and AR headsets. The Wi-Fi Alliance expects WiGig to truly take off by 2017 now WI-FI CERTIFIED program is available.