WiGig touted for small-cell backhaul play

The WiGig Alliance is pushing Wireless Gigabit technology beyond its initial mission of providing multi-gigabit connections between devices and into the world of small cells as a short-range backhaul solution.

Ali Sadri, chairman and president of the WiGig Alliance, told Mobile Business Briefing that WiGig's architecture could be useful for small-cell deployments. "Small cells will be in every street, but somehow we need to bring high-throughput connectivity to these small cells... One of the things we are looking at is how can we extend the WiGig technology MAC and PHY to be used for short-range backhaul. One of the best things to do for the short-range backhaul is to operate in the 60 GHz band," Sadri said in the interview.

WiGig was conceived in 2009 and has the support of a broad range of multinational companies, including Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, Microsoft, Nokia, Panasonic Qualcomm and Samsung. Using 60 GHz spectrum, which attenuates quickly but provides lots of bandwidth, WiGig was initially aimed at delivering high-speed data connections between devices such as TVs, set-top boxes and computers in homes and businesses. Using four 2.16 GHz channels, the technology could enable data rates up to 7 Gbps.

WiGig Alliance's early work on the specification has been rolled into the IEEE 802.11ad draft specification. Sadri told Mobile Business Briefing that the WiGig Alliance is slated to conduct a test event of the technology next month, setting the stage for device certification in 2013.

In March, In-Stat rated the top three wireless high-definition video technologies: wireless home digital interface (WHDI), WirelessHD and WiGig. The research firm predicted WiGig/802.11ad will have the most long-term success, with WiGig/802.11ad-enabled PC device shipments approaching 15 million units in 2015. In-Stat said three three chip vendors will be coming to market in the next year with WiGig/802.11ad silicon.

 For more:
- see this Mobile Business Briefing article

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This article was updated on May 24, 2012, to correct the name of Mobile Business Briefing.