First 802.11ad Products Appear – But Are Not Breakthrough Products

– Consumers Need Wi-Fi 11ad in TVs, DVRs, Blu-ray Players, Surround Sound Systems

The 802.11ad version of Wi-Fi has the potential to replace all the connector cables that are in the rat nest of wires behind your entertainment system. It can transmit large quantities of data between devices such as 4K. It is far faster than Bluetooth. But first, CE equipment makers need to start embedding it into TVs, DVRs, Blu-ray players and such. As for the electrical wires in that rat nest, well it looks like they will always be with us but getting rid of the connector cables will go a long, long way towards improving things – such as setting up equipment. 11ad is a room network rather than a home network. It’s very useful for moving data between devices such as 4K Blu-ray player to a 4K TV. It’s more akin to Bluetooth than to traditional Wi-Fi, except in speed and great for connecting devices that are in arm’s length distance of each other.

Wi-Fi’s 802.11ad version has its first products – a router from TP-Link and an Acer laptop. 11ad differs from both 802.11n and 802.11ac by using 60GHz frequencies where they use 5GHz frequencies. 11ad handles more data but only at a short range.

However, Mark Grodzinsky, senior director of product management at Qualcomm’s connectivity group, told Network World that 802.11ad will begin to supplement traditional Wi-Fi next year. Grodzinsky said, “I think by next year, every major PC manufacturer will have 11ad notebook SKUs available.” He said the demand for bandwidth exceeds what even the Wave 2 version of 802.11ac can provide. Grodzinsky hinted to Network World about at major 11ad product releases within the next couple of weeks but he does not see it replacing current Wi-Fi versions.

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