In the last decade, the various wireless technologies grouped under the trade name of WiFi they have been giving us increasingly more features, more speed and better coverage, instead of annoying wires in many applications and providing more freedom of movement to our digital activities inside and outside of House.
From earlier versions that were barely able to smoothly transmit a few tens of megabytes per second have moved to new much more powerful standards that have revolutionised the domestic sector to incorporate into all kinds of multimedia devices Apart from the computer. How is the picture currently?,?What versions will arrive in the coming months ready to revolutionize our local connections?
WiFi AC, the conquest of gigabit
At the end of the already remote 2012 begin to hear the merits of a new iteration of WiFi, the AC, under the protocol IEEE 802. 11ac would come to our homes ready to revolutionize the market and resolve once and for all the problems of saturation of earlier versions (like for example WiFi N).
In the summer of 2013 the WiFi Alliance He began to certify devices under the standard WiFi AC and since then has come to our gadgets on a massive scale, in various versions, multiplying the capabilities of connection to routers, mobile, laptops, TVs, sound, media centers, etc..
One of their primary missions consisted in solve congestion that the 2.4 GHz public band came dragging it for years because of existing Wi-Fi networks and other domestic appliances such as cordless phones, remotes, microwaves, etc. WiFi AC outlined as well as a system designed for work in 5 GHz that would keep compatibility with previous versions, and would be capable of operating simultaneously on both bands.
What speeds you can get? The first specification marked initially a combination of both bands to achieve a maximum of three 433 Mbps data flows, which was supposed to a total of 1.3 Gbps. I.e., for the first time we superábamos gigabit per second and we were able to download or view in streaming Full HD or 4K movies without problems.
Update 802. 11ac-2013 will take off this year and proposes 7 Gbps speeds
However, in January 2014 the IEEE approved a new version of the Protocol, known as 802. 11ac-2013, reviewing certain aspects and introduced the use of 160 MHz channels, both contiguous and non-contiguous, in the 5 GHz band, reaching theoretical maximum speeds of 7 Gbps.
To do this using 256-QAM modulation techniques, technology improved beamforming which directs energy toward the device target with up to 8 channels or simultaneous streams and also the MU-MIMO technique (Multi-user Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output) which supports up to 4 simultaneous transmissions of different users.
A remarkable improvement that still have not implemented completely in current domestic routers, but which are gradually coming and probably they take off this 2016, even partially, with high-end equipment. In fact, have already announced are models that will begin to be sold this year and they are approaching that figure 7 Gbps maximum.
WiFi AD, the new King at short distances
Approved officially in 2013, has not been up to this past CES when finally given the starting gun for the arrival on the market of the wireless standard IEEE 802. 11ad from the hand of a compatible mobile terminal based on the platform Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 and the first domestic router that was part of the new version of the Protocol.
WiFi AD, developed and approved with the collaboration of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig), promises to improve considerably the transmissions within walking distance between our mobile terminals and the other teams of the home connected to using the the 60 GHz frequency band (typically between 57 and 66 GHz).
WiFi AD is intended for short distances of large amounts of data transmissions
It is a standard designed for short range communication (between 5 and 10 meters) with line of sight, without obstacles such as walls or ceilings, the band of frequencies used is not able to transfer them.
For this reason, it is not designed as connection of the various devices of the smart home or to bring Internet to the rooms of the House, but rather as a direct means to convey large volumes of information over short distances among equipment such as computers, mobile, tablets, network drives and TVs.
One of its possible potential uses will be in the wireless transmission of uncompressed video. I.e. WiFi AD could become the system that will finally allow us to get rid of once and for all the data cables, as the HDMI, between the player and intelligent screen for the living room. So the first implementations will be able to achieve transfer rates they will depart 4.6 Gbps, to then pass to the 7 Gbps.
WiFi AD rates will depart between 4,6 and 7 Gbps this year but in the future could reach 100 Gbps.
Later, with future iterations and the use of multiple antennas and channels and other technologies similar to those already used in WiFi N might be overcome in a few years 80-100 Gbps as peak speeds.
The next area of interest is found in the multi-device direct communication. WiFi AD will allow high-speed low-latency data transmission and the collaboration on complex computational tasks between teams that are in the same room to keep data synchronized in real time.
Will be also suitable for improving the public wireless access points It will be installed in centers of leisure, buildings, hotels, hospitals, restaurants, airports, stations, etc. Its greater speed and ability to support more users in the same space will improve the benefits offered to who is in less than 10 meter radios and closer new uses as the multimedia kiosks fast download of contents in commercial centers and museums.
WiFi HaLow, conquering the Internet of things
The latest version of WiFi has been officially presented this month of January in Las Vegas with the Halow name, Although formally it is protocol 802. 11ah, and comes with the intention of replace or complement to Bluetooth as a system of objects of the Internet of things.
This puts targeted not at maximum speed, but in the latency, consumption and the radius of coverage in interiors that improves through the use of the 900 MHz band (see how will be implemented in countries such as Spain where this band is intended for mobile communications 3G). According to WiFi Alliance, reach inside House will be Double that of the current WiFi connections, links more robust and capable of dealing with physical barriers and walls without any problem.
WiFi Halow is designed for low speed of the connected objects communications
It will also operate in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands to maintain compatibility and will offer a while yet what connection speeds has not been clarified, it is known that they will be well below current standards WiFi N or AC, Since its aim is not transferring large amounts of data but keep the marking of connected objects.
I.e., is designed for interconnect the hundreds of sensors, computers network, wearables, home automation systems, lighting, security, etc. that we will soon have many smart homes and that later, if you need more bandwidth promptly used another version of WiFi with more capacity.
When will you arrive to the market? Because the WiFi Alliance has indicated that it will begin certifying products with WiFi HaLow from 2018, for what there is still time to have them at home running.
Overview and fundamental ideas
It is time to review fundamental ideas surrounding the three wireless standards previously commented, each one with its applications, advantages and disadvantages. To begin we have to WiFi AC, developed for the transmission of high-speed data between all kinds of multimedia, mobile, tablets and computers in any room of the House to gigabit speeds.
The following is WiFi AD, that occurs not as a substitute for AC, but rather as a complement that will help us in short distances, high speed transmissions with between 7 and 100 Gbps, within the same room and probably as new wireless multimedia system.
Finally we have to WiFi HaLow, the standard who wants to gain a foothold in the Internet of things when it comes to interconnect sensors and equipment home automation slow but powerful and stability.
|Frequency band||5 GHz (maintains backward compatibility with 2. 4 GHz)||60 GHz (maintains compatibility with 2.4 and 5 GHz)||900 MHz (maintains compatibility with 2.4 and 5 GHz)|
|Maximum speeds||7 Gbps||4.6-7 Gbps now, but already discussed up to 100 Gbps||To be determined|
|Typical coverage||30 meters||5-10 meters||More than 60 meters|
|Applications||Free multimedia devices and Internet in all rooms of the home, video streaming UHD||Transfer of data at high speed and distance. Video streaming uncompressed wireless||Internet of things, sensors and equipment home automation connection.|
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