Competition in the 802.11ac Wi-Fi arena continues ramping up, with Quantenna, Broadcom and Qualcomm each announcing new generations of chipsets with improved data performance and network capacity. However, the rivals are taking different tacks to achieve those performance gains.
Wave 2 of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is finally on deck, and chipmaker Qualcomm is rolling out an 802.11ac product ecosystem that enables access points and client devices to exploit multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) for greatly enhanced network efficiency and capacity.
Two-year-old startup Mimosa Networks wants the FCC to open up the 10.0-10.5 GHz band for lightly licensed broadband services that would share the spectrum with the band's current users--ham radio operators as well as federal and non-federal radiolocation services.
The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is enjoying rapid adoption, achieving 8 percent of the total consumer access point market in 2013 and 6 percent of the market for enterprise-sized access points, said ABI Research.
Smartphones are moving beyond the early generation 1x1 MIMO configurations for 802.11ac Wi-Fi service as 2x2 MIMO makes its way from larger devices, such as PCs, into smaller platform designs. Broadcom is looking to capitalize on that shift and gain early-mover advantage with the rollout of a new chip for smartphones and tablets that offers 2x2 MIMO functionality.
Quantenna Communications is supplying its 802.11ac wave 2 technology to Mimosa for use in multiple outdoor wireless products using 802.11ac technology. The two companies have also agreed to jointly develop an enhanced physical layer and link.
The wireless local area network market experienced a year-over-year expansion of 10 percent during the recently ended third quarter, with 802.11ac Wi-Fi shipments for the enterprise playing a big factor, according to a fresh study from Dell'Oro Group.
Growing adoption of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is driving test equipment manufacturers to develop new product offerings that accommodate 160 MHz bandwidth.
In a tale of two tablet vendors, product releases this week from Nokia and Apple reveal strikingly different approaches to wireless connectivity. However, the approaches are not surprising given the companies' histories.
Just how fast are the real-world gigabit Wi-Fi speeds offered by 802.11ac technology? Well, that depends.