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Samsung Claims 4.6Gbps Speed on New 60GHz 802.11ad WiFi Technology

Monday, October 13th, 2014 (2:24 pm) - Score 1,346

Samsung are next year aiming to become one of the first companies to commercialise the potential of last year’s officially approved 802.11ad standard for WiFi wireless networking, which could eventually deliver speeds of up to 7 Gigabits per second (Gbps) using the unlicensed 60GHz (57-66GHz) radio spectrum band.

At present most of the latest top-end WiFi kit uses the still fairly recent 802.11ac standard, which can deliver performance of between 1-2Gbps using the traditional 5GHz band (often with a little help from 2.4GHz); although as ever the ordinary home user will typically experience a lot less.

By comparison Samsung expects that its new 802.11ad technology will deliver transmission speeds of up to 4.6Gbps when it goes commercial sometime in 2015 (this is spoken as a very tentative date), which it does by claiming to eliminate co-channel interference (regardless of the number of devices using the same network).

Admittedly 60GHz affords plenty of capacity for data, yet transmissions in this spectrum also tend to suffer limited range and struggle to penetrate through walls. But Samsung claims to be overcoming some of these hurdles by harnessing the latest millimeter-wave circuit design, high performance modem technologies and by using wide-coverage beam-forming antennas.

Kim Chang Yong, Head of Samsung’s DMC R&D Center, said:

Samsung has successfully overcome the barriers to the commercialization of 60GHz millimeter-wave band Wi-Fi technology, and looks forward to commercializing this breakthrough technology. New and innovative changes await Samsung’s next-generation devices, while new possibilities have been opened up for the future development of Wi-Fi technology.”

Despite the work we’re still sceptical about the reach of a WiFi network using the 60GHz band and it’s notable that Samsung’s update doesn’t give any useful indication of coverage. Admittedly problems like this could be overcome by sticking signal boosters in other rooms, but that’s ugly and most people would probably prefer not to have to do that. As a result we still see this as being better as a Machine-to-Machine or Device-to-Device (Internet of Things) sort of solution for communicating data.

At the same time it’s worth remembering that another revision to the existing 802.11ac WiFi standard, which is called 802.11ac-2013 (details), is aiming to make even better use of the 5GHz frequency band and has promised similar speeds to the 802.11ad standard above. This standard is also expected to emerge in 2015 and looks like the more likely of the two to be powering your future home WiFi.

Meanwhile consumers are likely to find the ever more complicated variation of numbers and letters to be confusing, which could make the improvements harder to sell.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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