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.”