Researchers are busily working on 802.11ax, a follow-on technology for 802.11ac Wi-Fi that uses MIMO-OFDA signaling to deliver faster, even gigabit-speed, connections to individual devices rather than simply improving overall network capacity. But 802.11ax will not hit the shelves for a few years, given that 2019 is the target date for a ratified 802.11ax standard.
Bell Canada has responded to the need for greater in-home Wi-Fi speed by introducing its 802.11ac-based Home Hub Internet modem and Wi-Fi router for its growing Fibe Internet customer base.
It hasn't launched a product yet, but Mimosa Networks just snagged $20 million in Series C funding to help boost development and sales of the company's last-mile 802.11ac Wi-Fi platform for Internet service providers.
IPTV service providers are not content with just any wireless connections coming from their set-top boxes. They're demanding 802.11ac, a potent version of the current 802.11n Wi-Fi standard that can deliver speeds from 433 Mbps to multiple Gbps.
Competition in the 802.11ac Wi-Fi arena continues ramping up, with Quantenna, Broadcom and Qualcomm each announcing new generations of chipsets with improved data performance and network capacity. However, the rivals are taking different tacks to achieve those performance gains.
Wave 2 of the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is finally on deck, and chipmaker Qualcomm is rolling out an 802.11ac product ecosystem that enables access points and client devices to exploit multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) for greatly enhanced network efficiency and capacity.
Two-year-old startup Mimosa Networks wants the FCC to open up the 10.0-10.5 GHz band for lightly licensed broadband services that would share the spectrum with the band's current users--ham radio operators as well as federal and non-federal radiolocation services.
The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard is enjoying rapid adoption, achieving 8 percent of the total consumer access point market in 2013 and 6 percent of the market for enterprise-sized access points, said ABI Research.
Smartphones are moving beyond the early generation 1x1 MIMO configurations for 802.11ac Wi-Fi service as 2x2 MIMO makes its way from larger devices, such as PCs, into smaller platform designs. Broadcom is looking to capitalize on that shift and gain early-mover advantage with the rollout of a new chip for smartphones and tablets that offers 2x2 MIMO functionality.
Quantenna Communications is supplying its 802.11ac wave 2 technology to Mimosa for use in multiple outdoor wireless products using 802.11ac technology. The two companies have also agreed to jointly develop an enhanced physical layer and link.