ASUS Rolls out 5G WiFi Dual-Band Router

ASUS, the Taiwan-based maker of PCs, laptops, mobile phones and servers, rolled out several new products at COMPUTEX today, including a new dual-band, Gigabit router featuring 5th generation WiFi (5G WiFi) technology, enabling wireless speeds up to three times faster than existing routers.

The new ASUS RT-AC66U router uses combined 2.4GHz/5GHz bandwidths, coupled with exclusive ASUS AiRadar signal amplification and shaping technology, to achieve 1.75 Gigabits per second – a massive data rate increase that makes it an excellent choice for demanding online applications.

One of the world’s first dual-band wireless routers to support the advanced 802.11ac wireless protocol, and among the first to achieve Gigabit wireless speeds, the RT-AC66U maintains the ASUS tradition of networking excellence established by previous ASUS high speed routers. It allows for easy and fast setup in just three steps with the ASUSWRT dashboard, and upholds strict QoS standards for the most reliable networking and download multitasking available. With QoS, the RT-AC66U has better bandwidth optimization and offers Download Master capabilities, which mean fast background downloading even post-shutdown. Up to eight SSIDs are supported, so users can easily setup distinct networks with different access privileges and levels of security without having to compromise passwords. The RT-AC66U supports the new IPv6 standard for better packet transmission and addressing.

USB applications extend router versatility

With its twin USB ports, the RT-AC66U becomes a true multi-role device. Attaching a 3G dongle allows it to share 3G connections among several users on different devices, while full DLNA compatibility affords smooth connectivity with a variety of entertainment platforms, including game consoles, Blu-ray players, smart TVs, and set-top boxes. The RT-AC66U can also serve as a dedicated FTP server and printer server, letting users share resources for greater productivity while reducing costs as there is no need to buy standalone server hardware.

Full 5G WiFi product lineup

In addition to the RT-AC66U router, ASUS has also released the PCE-AC66 and USB-AC53 clients, both 5G WiFi capable. The dual-band PCE-AC66 offers a PCI Express client card for desktops, with 3 x 3 high-powered transmission. It can sustain 1.3Gbps in 5GHz and up to 450Mbps in the 2.4GHz band. For easy USB upgrades to 802.11ac, the USB-AC53 compact dongle plugs into any USB port, with 2 x 2 802.11ac. In 5GHz, the attachment can maintain 867Mbps, while in 2.4GHz it works at 300Mbps, achieving a total throughput of around 1.3Gbps. The PCE-AC66 and USB-AC53 are enabled by Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips, and demonstrate ASUS technology leadership in bringing an 802.11ac ecosystem to consumers.

Further information on 5G WiFi can be found at www.5GWiFi.org

30% of Americans can’t go one hour without Wi-Fi

Some surprising results from a Broadcom survey of 900 Americans:

  • 30% cannot go one full hour without a Wi-Fi connection
  • 60% cannot go one full day without Wi-Fi access before seeking a connection

I was trying to think of the last time I went a full day without checking my email – if you don’t count 26 hours of internet-free travel from San Francisco to Singapore two years ago, I believe it was in 2006 when I went to the Mayan Pyramids in Guatemala and there was no power for roughly 20 hours per day. My obsession with connectivity might be a little sad, but at least I know I’m not alone!

What you have to keep in mind here is that people are used to an always-on internet connection, whether that’s over Wi-Fi or cellular data networks. This is where 5G WiFi comes in: not only does it increase the capacity of existing Wi-Fi networks to support the exponential growth of smartphones, but it also allows cellular carriers to seamlessly offload customers from their limited spectrum to the vast expanses of the 5 GHz band.

With total wireless cellular penetration exceeding 100% in the United States, it won’t be that long before 100% of Americans will be unable to go a full day without Wi-Fi access.

5G WiFi Ground Zero – Broadcom NETGEAR launch event

Here is the video of the 5G WiFi launch event that happened in San Francisco today. Hear Michael Hurlston, SVP Broadcom talk about the pervasiveness of Wi-Fi today, and the benefits of 5G WiFi. Patrick Lo, NETGEAR’s CEO talks to their leadership in the networking space. David Henry, NETGEAR’s VP Product Marketing demonstrates why 5G WiFi & the R6300 Wi-Fi routers are an absolute must for future proofing your home network.

NETGEAR Unveils 5G WiFi Routers and Notebook Adapter

At a joint event with Broadcom in San Francisco today, NETGEAR announced the first 802.11ac adapter for notebooks, and showed two versions of routers.

The A6200 WiFi Adapter is the first USB 802.11ac-based adapter on the market for client devices like notebook computers. The A6200 notebook adapter docks to client devices using a USB 2.0 port. It’s expected to cost about $69 and will ship in August.

David Henry, vice president of product management for NETGEAR, told a crowd of reporters that the high-end, three-stream R6300 is available online Thursday for the previously announced price of $199.99 and is expected to be available in retail stores by the end of the week.

NETGEAR also unveiled the R6200, a two-stream, mid-range version of the R6300 that will retail for about $179.99 beginning in July.

aLL devices use Broadcom 5G WiFi chips to deliver up to 1,300 Mbps speeds on the 5 GHz band, plus additional coverage in the earlier 2.4 GHz band for combined performance well above the Gigabit range.

Both the adapter and routers are backward compatible with previous Wi-Fi routers and clients.

Michael Hurlston, senior vice president at Broadcom, said he expects that 802.11ac technology will be integrated into PCs during the third quarter of this year, followed by televisions in the fourth quarter, and finally mobile phones in early 2013, largely due to their differing development cycles.

Earlier this week, BuffaloTechnology shipped its first 5G WiFi router.

Buffalo Technology 5G WiFi Products in stores

Buffalo Technology, a leader in wired and wireless networking and direct attached storage solutions, has selected the 5G WiFi standard to realize a 3x improvement in download performance, increased signal integrity and wider coverage for its new generation of routers.

A Buffalo Technology statement said the company has selected Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips for its new AirStation™ WZR-D1800H wireless router and WLI-H4-D1300 wireless media bridge, both available now at select retail locations.

“Buffalo is again at the forefront of wireless networking, delivering the world’s first Wi-Fi router leveraging 802.11ac technology in a cost-effective, high performance package,” said Hajime Nakai, chief executive officer at Buffalo Technology.

First unveiled at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the AirStation™ router and bridge combination use Broadcom’s 5G WiFi to implement the emerging 802.11ac wireless standard for improved download speeds, reduced power consumption in mobile devices, and wider coverage areas. The 5G WiFi devices are also fully backward compatible with earlier  wireless protocols, including 802.11a, 11b, 11g and 11n.

Operating in the 5 GHz spectrum, 802.11ac offers transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps, ideal for uninterrupted HD video streaming and concurrent Internet access. Buffalo’s 802.11ac products will also feature improved signal reliability and produce better in-home coverage for ultra-portable devices such as tablets and smart phones. As 5G WiFi proliferates into phones and tablets, the chips will enable even better coverage and faster download times, improving the battery life of client devices.

“5G WiFi will improve the HD video streaming experience with its higher speeds, enhanced range and increased reliability,” said Michael Hurlston, Broadcom’s SVP and GM of the Wireless Combo Connectivity line of business. “Buffalo Technology’s products using Broadcom’s chipsets give consumers the fastest, most robust wireless networking solutions available.”

Buffalo’s AirStation AC1300 / N900 Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Router WZR-D1800H provides a dependable, high quality signal boasting speeds up to 1300 Mbps on the 5 GHz band, and 450Mbps on the 2.4 GHz 3×3 802.11n band. This enables a total aggregate wireless throughput up to 1750 Mbps for extremely fast data syncing, video streaming, and wireless networking.

The AirStation AC1300 / N450 4-Port Gigabit Dual Band Wireless Ethernet Bridge WLI-H4-D1300 is a versatile dual band media bridge connecting up to four network-enabled wired devices, such as media players and gaming consoles, using the 802.11ac network. Using the 5 GHz and 2.4 GHz spectrum for transfer speeds up to 1300 Mbps, the bridge offers uninterrupted HD video streaming and concurrent Internet access from multiple connected devices.

The WZR-D1800H and WLI-H4D1300 are available now at Fry’s, Frys.com and NewEgg.com at an estimated price of $179.99 each. For more information about Buffalo Technology see www.buffalotech.com.

Belkin Intros 5G WiFi Routers for Gigabit-Speed Home Networking

Belkin International, creators of people-inspired products and technology solutions, today announced plans to become one of the first to market with a line of wireless Gigabit-speed dual-band home network routers using the new 802.11ac wireless networking standard.

The new Belkin routers, expected to be available in June, will feature 5G WiFi chips from Broadcom Corporation. 5G WiFi or 802.11ac chips provided wireless transmission speeds up to three times faster than existing technology for higher performance and reliability and lower power consumption.

“802.11ac technology provides the wireless networking backbone needed to reliably handle the increasing amount of mobile devices and streaming content on today’s home networks,” said Mike Chen, senior director of networking at Belkin. “We are excited to partner with Broadcom to bring cutting-edge Wi-Fi products to market this summer that not only provide great speed and coverage, but also enhance the online streaming experience for videos, movies, and music throughout the home.”

The gigabit data rates of 5G WiFi enable dramatically faster file syncing, music and movie downloads to mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. The higher speeds also save battery life, while the focused transmission beam extends the throughput and reliability of the router.

Michael Hurlston, Broadcom’s senior vice president of Wireless Combo Connectivity, said Belkin is “strongly positioned to help drive the transition to the fifth generation of Wi-Fi.”

“By incorporating Broadcom’s 5G WiFi chips, Belkin’s new products will improve home wireless range, provide faster video streaming, enable simultaneous connection of multiple devices to the network, and deliver broader coverage-all with a longer battery life,” said Hurlston. “We’re thrilled to partner with Belkin to help bring all the benefits of 5G WiFi to consumers.”

The lineup of products powered by Broadcom’s 5G WiFi technology continues to grow. Last month, NETGEAR unveiled its 5GWiFi-powered router.

Broadcom is the first chip company to release 5G WiFi devices using the emerging 802.11ac standard.

For more information about Belkin’s 5G WiFi products, visit www.Belkin.com/networking/ac-routers.  Belkin can also be found on the web at Belkin.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/belkin, and on Twitter at Twitter.com/belkin.

Broadcom Gets Award for 5G WiFi Technology at Interop 2012

Broadcom’s family of 5G WiFi or 802.11ac chips were honored this week as being some of the best at the Interop conference in Las Vegas. The devices were named Best New Product with the 2012 Network Products Guide Hot Companies and Best Products Award.

Broadcom was the first to introduce chips using the new 802.11ac wireless technology and has created some early excitement around the concept of 5GWiFi. Already, companies are rolling out products that will use the new technology – NETGEAR being the first – and others are excited about the potential that it will offer. The technology promises a more robust and more seamless experience around digital content, such as video, and the capabilities of sharing that content across a number of devices, including televisions, mobile phones, tablet computers and traditional PCs.

Ixia to Demonstrate 5G WiFi Test Support at Interop 2012

The migration to 5G WiFi got another boost this morning when Ixia Corporation, a leading provider of converged IP and wireless network test solutions, announced that it will demonstrate test support for fifth-generation Wi-Fi or IEEE 802.11ac at Interop 2012 in Las Vegas, May 5-11.

Ixia’s 802.11ac test solution will be part of  its IxVeriWave Wi-Fi suite of products and will provide a “complete and thorough approach to Wi-Fi device and network validation.”  Ixia’s IxVeriWave solutions test Wi-Fi devices and wireless LAN networks using a client-centric model that precisely measures the real-world behavior of mobile devices, their impact on other devices, and overall network performance.

Ixia has developed a test architecture that provides complete and thorough Wi-Fi device validation. Joe Zeto, Sr. Manager, Market Development at Ixia, said the approach is “critical for organizations seeking to build high performing AC chipsets and access points.”

The three main innovations of this approach include:

  • Integrated RF testing, impairment tools, and traffic generation. Ixia’s solution can test the key RF parameters (e.g. EVM, flatness, and I/Q gain, and phase error), generate full rate 802.11ac traffic, and model environmental RF conditions, saving time and cost.
  • RF measurements in real-time on every packet. Ixia’s solution analyzes every single frame and provides real time measurements.
  • Integrated channel modeling for each client. Ixia is the only solution that enables applying a different RF channel model to each of the 500 emulated clients.

“5G WiFi powered by IEEE 802.11ac, provides new innovations that enable more reliable whole home coverage for consumers to stream digital content between devices faster, while simultaneously connecting more wireless devices,” said Bryan Richter, Director of Hardware Development Engineering, Mobile & Wireless Group at Broadcom. “Innovations in 802.11ac test systems, such as those by Ixia are critical for developing a complete and robust 5G Wi-Fi ecosystem.”

Entrepreneur Sees Benefits of 5G-WiFi

5G WiFi Drives New Opportunities

A recent article by Steward Wolpin in Entrepreneur.com does a great job of highlighting emerging WiFi technology, and in particular the new 5G WiFi (802.11ac).

Wolpin, a New York City-based writer who has been covering technology for more than 30 years, correctly notes that among the biggest benefits of these new Wi-Fi technologies will be a greatly increased ability to wirelessly connect business environments.

“Wi-Fi as you know it will begin to evolve over the next few months, changing how businesses stay connected,” he writes.

“Today’s fastest Wi-Fi protocol is 802.11n, or just “n,” which provides theoretical data transfer speeds of around 300 megabits per second (Mbps),” notes Wolpin. “Up next on the Wi-Fi speed chart is 802.11ac, alternately called “gigabit,” Very High Throughput Wi-Fi or fifth-generation (5G) Wi-Fi. By any name, 802.11ac Wi-Fi is expected to offer speeds of up to 1300 Mbps — potentially more than four times faster than current “n” routers and about 1,000 times faster than 4G LTE connectivity.”

It should be pointed out that some of the performance comparisons made vis-a-vis 4G LTE are not accurate ; in actual conditions, for example, 5G WiFi is expected to be about 6 times faster than 4G LTE.

Still, the point is well taken. 5G WiFi offers the fastest available wireless download speeds, which is important in environments where large file transfers are common.

At the same time, he notes that 5G  WiFi delivers another equally important benefit: a “relatively vacant” channel.

“Instead of operating in the crowded 2.4 GHz frequencies along with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wireless communication gadgets, 802.11ac Wi-Fi will transmit data in the relatively vacant 5 GHz spectrum,” writes Wolpin.

In addition, he noted,these and other improvements are expected to create speedier, more consistent wireless links further from the router with fewer dead spots and greater ability to penetrate walls.”

For businesses, all of this means more reliable in-office wireless connectivity, which ultimately means businesses can “reduce or eliminate the need for complex and expensive wired broadband connections”.

For workers using portable devices, this also means speedier downloads via 5FWi-Fi and a resulting increase battery life as well.

Other emerging WiFi technologies highlighted in the article include Hotspot 2.0 (also known as Wi-Fi Certified Passpoint), which enables autonomous connection of wireless devices wherever you go; and Super Wi-Fi, which uses so-called TV white space, unused over-the-air spectrum recently approved by the FCC for commercial use. These lower frequencies allow wider and more powerful wireless signal propagation, said Wolpin, adding that, “An indoor Super Wi-Fi 40 mW transmitter creates a Wi-Fi hotspot up to five times the range of current Wi-Fi hotspots. In other words, a hotspot blanketing more than 1,000 feet would be enough to cover a small business office with a single router.”