June 21, 2013


Wi-Fi is about to get a lot faster and more reliable (Paresh Dave, 6/22/13, Los Angeles Times)

The technical improvements bring Wi-Fi up to par with the sweeping changes in the home entertainment industry. The number of Wi-Fi-connected devices in U.S. households has doubled during the last five years, according to Wakefield Research.

Smartphones, tablets and even appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines now compete with televisions, gaming consoles and laptops for a share of a finite network bandwidth. Increasingly, many of those devices are also displaying hours of video a day, putting incredible demand on the network.

The fifth generation of Wi-Fi tackles those problems by increasing speed limits and moving to a new highway, from the congested lanes of the 2.4-gigahertz frequency band to a more open 5-gigahertz spectrum.

The changes should mean that routers will be able to accommodate more devices at one time and provide better coverage throughout a home or office space. In apartments or areas crowded with other electronics, the new "highway" offers the promise of less interference, meaning connections shouldn't randomly drop, particularly if the consumer is using a 2.4-gigahertz cordless phone.

"We expect that the users will see a significant increase in the performance of their applications," said Greg Ennis, technical director of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Posted by at June 21, 2013 7:47 PM

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