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802.11ac WiFi expected to ship in 1 billion devices by 2015

by Pete Mason on 11 February 2011, 16:40

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It feels like 802.11n WiFi has only been with us in final form for a short while, but development is already well underway on the next generation standard. 802.11ac promises to deliver speeds of up to 1Gbps and if market research firm In-Stat is to be believed, it should take a lot less time to roll out than its predecessor.

According to the analysts, the next WiFi version will have shipped in over 1 billion devices by 2015 despite the fact that there aren't any compatible products on the market yet. In fact, the spec still hasn't been finalised - the draft proposal is expected to be published before the end of this year, with the first devices appearing at the end of 2012.

Since it's still in the development stage, it's not exactly clear how the technology will attain such impressive speeds, but it's thought that it will bond up to eight channels to create the bandwidth. If all goes to plan, it would deliver a significant boost over 802.11n's 600Mbps throughput.

Unsurprisingly, In-Stat believes that mobile devices will drive 802.11ac adoption, accounting for 80 per cent of the one billion shipments. WiFi connected e-readers and cars will also be on the rise, although they'll still only make up a few per cent of the total.

Given how slowly 802.11n was rolled out, we think that In-Stat's research might be a bit optimistic. On the other hand, if 802.11ac delivers on its promise of gigabit wireless networking, you can certainly count us in.

HEXUS Forums :: 8 Comments

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But when will we see affordable 10GigE in the home? That what I want to know
But when will we see affordable 10GigE in the home? That what I want to know

ive seen nics as low as £200 and switches as low as £300 a port for 48 ports :)
8 channels bonded to get those figures? They are just using more bandwidth (in the radio sense) to get more bandwidth (in the bps sense)
I think 802.11n was approaching the limits of what we can transmit over the air.
But when will we see affordable 10GigE in the home? That what I want to know


When 1mbit ethernet was out, it could be saturated by a then current PC transferring files. When it was updated to 10 Mbit, a current PC could saturate the link. When Fast ethernet came out, a current PC could saturate the link several times over.
A current modern PC cannot saturate Gbit eithernet yet. 10Gbit is great for the datacentre, but not anything like needed for the home for the next 10 years at least.
an SSD will saturate a 1Gbit link and as more people start to buy into SSD and the sizes become larger there will come a point where we will want more bandwidth.