WiGig spec hints at 5G offering 8 Gbps over 10 metres

Wi-Fi Alliance certification program kicks off with Intel, Qualcomm chipsets to the fore

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The WiFi Alliance reckons it's bestowed on a waiting world the first hint of what 5G will look like, and apparently it's a radio link that can manage 8 Gbps over 10 metres.

The group has announced the first products to carry its freshly-minted WiGig certification.

Chipsets to carry the certification come from Qualcomm (the QCA9500 chipset with reference solutions for clients and routers) and Intel (Tri-Band Wireless).

There are also reference adapters from Socionext, and Dell's Latitude E7450/70 laptop.

The big advantage the 60 GHz band offers over what we're familiar with for Wi-Fi – 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz – is that there's plenty of room for extremely wide channels that provide multi-gigabit per second capacity.

The short range of 60 GHz WiGig makes it most suitable for applications like docking and in-room device-to-device interconnect – file transfers, multimedia streaming, and (if enough people eventually care about it) virtual reality headset connections.

In a crowded environment, beamforming on its multiple-in, multiple-out antennae should cut down interference.

Where devices support operation across all the Wi-Fi bands, the standard stipulates the ability to keep sessions intact while switching between 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz or 60 GHz frequencies.

Stretching the use-case out to the 5G business, a Wi-Fi alliance bod told LightReading that with a cantenna long-range directional antennae WiGig's range could be extended to distances sufficient to provide cellular base station backhaul. ®


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