Analysts: Wi-Fi is ready for prime time at 60 GHz

It's been a long time coming, but analysts at SAR Insight & Consulting say they believe 2016 will be the year that WiGig finally takes off.

Also known as IEEE 802.11ad, WiGig is poised to be an essential enabling technology with the increase in bandwidth demanded by applications such as gaming and HD video streaming, says Mohamad Haidar of SAR.

Launched by the Wireless Gigabit Alliance back in 2009, "it is a step change from the 802.11 evolution we have witnessed over the last few years, adding a new 60 GHz frequency band to the mix of 2.4 and 5 GHz offerings," he says in an EE Times blog

The 2.4 GHz band is largely saturated and it is projected that the 5 GHz band will also become saturated within two to three years due to the roll out of today's 802.11ac. Hence, introducing a new Wi-Fi protocol operating in the 60 GHz license-free ISM band is a timely innovation, according to Haidar.

Haidar and his colleague Peter Cooney say WiGig offers some exciting opportunities, thanks to 7 Gbps data rates. One of their recent studies concluded that 2.5 billion WiGig enabled devices will ship in 2020, with rapid growth expected in 2016 onwards.

Some of their optimism stems from recent activity on the part of OEMs and chip vendors. Semiconductor giants like Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM) and Intel, and smaller vendors such as SiBeam, which is now owned by Lattice Semiconductor, and Peraso Technologies, are supporting WiGig. In addition, new products across a number of sectors are adopting WiGig, and equipment vendors include Acer, Dell, LeTV, Lenovo, TP Link and more.

"The killer market for this kind of technology is the smartphone market, and we have just seen LeTV (a Chinese smartphone vendor) launch a WiGig-enabled smartphone," the analysts wrote. "This should give impetus to leading smartphone vendors – such as Apple and Samsung – to add WiGig in the next few years."

Given the current mobile video traffic that network operators are seeing and their expectations for future demand, WiGig just may be finding its time to shine. According to Haidar, streaming 4K video is one major use case for WiGig. A gigabyte movie could take less than three seconds to transfer between devices and uncompressed high-definition videos can be streamed from mobile devices to TVs in real-time without any delay.

For more:
- see this EE Times blog

Related articles:
Peraso looks to scale WiGig technology over next 6 months
SiBeam expands indoor gigabit portfolio with new WiGig 802.11ad solution
WiGig certification program launched