Wi-Fi Miracast gets new features to support immersive HD, 4K Ultra HD

As more consumers sign up for unlimited data plans, mobile operators may want to offload traffic to Wi-Fi where they can, so new features to Wi-Fi Miracast ought to be in high demand.

Miracast is widely adopted across a variety of devices and builds on a foundation of existing Wi-Fi Alliance technology programs, including the latest generation of Wi-Fi Certified ac. Devices connect to each other directly or through existing Wi-Fi networks and connections are secured with WPA2 advanced security features.

The new capabilities are designed to better support high-definition (HD) and 4K Ultra HD content streaming, leading to a more immersive viewing experience.  

“Wi-Fi Certified Miracast ensures consumers receive an immersive wireless viewing experience whether they are streaming the latest Game of Thrones episode from a mobile device to a Smart TV or projecting an important presentation at a company meeting,” the Wi-Fi Alliance told FierceWirelessTech.

Wi-Fi Alliance members can now submit products for certification of the new features. Consumers can find more than 7,000 devices that are already Wi-Fi Certified Miracast on the Wi-Fi Alliance's Product Finder or look for the Wi-Fi Certified logo on device packaging.

As consumers use mobile devices more than ever for content viewing, Wi-Fi is the technology that can provide a seamless user experience while also providing a channel for data offload for mobile operators. “As more consumers sign up for unlimited data plans, mobile operators will continue to look to Wi-Fi to manage a large share of users' wireless data needs,” the alliance said.

Indeed, the growth in video traffic is impressive, with AT&T reporting that video makes up more than half of its mobile data traffic. In fact, video traffic grew over 75% and smartphones drove almost 75% of AT&T’s data traffic in the last year alone.

According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index, 60% of total mobile data traffic was offloaded onto the fixed network through Wi-Fi or femtocell in 2016. In total, 10.7 exabytes of mobile data traffic were offloaded onto the fixed network each month. Cisco predicted that 78% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2021.

Cisco said that one consequence of the growth of video in both fixed and mobile contexts is the resulting acceleration of busy-hour traffic in relation to average traffic growth. Video usage tends to occur during evening hours and has a “prime time,” unlike general web usage that occurs throughout the day. As a result, more video usage means more traffic during the peak hours of the day.