802.11ac standard will bring gigabit speeds to WiFi

Don't expect a revolution or a vast change in the way you use wireless.

Although the wireless 802.11n standard has just recently been made official, IEEE has begun work on the next iteration of WiFi. The coming upgrade may deliver speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second by improving on the efficiency of existing technology, according to Electronista.

Don't expect a revolution or a vast change in the way you use wireless. The IEEE 802.11ac standard, set to be in draft form by 2011, will mainly work with the current technology powering 802.11a. The new standard will continue to work on the 5.0Ghz band, but will provide larger channels for data throughput. Whereas current technology uses 20Mhz-wide channels, 802.11ac will be using either 40Mhz or 80Mhz-wide (and possibly 160Mhz) channels to deliver data. It's the equivalent of adding a wide-mouth tab to your beer can, so your files will be able to flow more freely on your home network come 2012.

Of course, none of these specs are standardized as yet and they may be drastically change in the next few years. On top of that, a fatter pipe for wireless data throughput does not increase our actual internet connection speeds. For most home users, the relevancy of 802.11ac may depend on the expansion of robust fiber optic internet infrastructure or an increase in large-file data streaming as well.

(Ars Technica via Electronista)

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David Ayala

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