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Smartphone Wi-Fi speeds set to dramatically increase in 2017

The Wi-Fi Alliance has been cooking up a certification program for its WiGig technology, which means Wi-Fi top speeds will be almost twice as fast on compatible devices in 2017.

Published onOctober 25, 2016

Wi-Fi AA

Wi-Fi top speeds will be almost twice as fast in 2017, thanks to the implementation of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s WiGig certification program. Upcoming smartphones, laptops and routers that take advantage of the new specification would receive “wired-grade” internet performance, said the Wi-Fi Alliance in a press release.

The technology operates over wider 60 GHz frequency bands with the 802.11ad standard, enabling WiGig devices to “achieve data rates of up to 8 Gbps, allowing users to download an HD movie in a few seconds,” writes the Wi-Fi Alliance. The tech would provide multi-gigabit performance for things like “augmented reality/virtual reality, multimedia streaming, gaming, and networking applications”.

WiGig does require relatively short-range data transmission, however – roughly 33 feet (10 meters) – which means that it’s unlikely to work as effectively on devices in different rooms to the router.

WiGig itself has been around for a couple of years now, but the announcement of the certification program means that manufacturers have a guaranteed way to develop it for their products and get the Wi-Fi Alliance’s seal of approval, paving the way for further device adoption.

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Consumer products which support the new standard are currently in development but we don’t know which will be the first to arrive. ABI Research, a technology market intelligence company cited by the Wi-Fi Alliance in its press release, suggest that “180 million WiGig chipsets will ship to the smartphone market in 2017″.

Proximity remains a huge barrier in effective Wi-Fi transmission and news of its effective radius will no doubt come as a disappointment to those who dwell on the peripheries of their router’s range.

For everyone else, how excited are you for faster internet, eh? Let us know in the comments.

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