Wilocity has partnered up with Cisco to deliver 60 GHz WiGig Wireless to enterprise and commercial applications. This technology also known as 802.11ad is capable of delivering data throughput speeds of up to 5 Gbps or 5 times faster than the current WiFi technologies. The good thing about this partnership between Wilocity and Cisco is that their solution is still fully backwards compatible with the current 802.11a/n/ac on 5 GHz and 802.11 b/g/n on 2.4 GHz making this a tri-band solution. Being a tri-band solution is great because right now 2.4 GHz is far too congested and 5 GHz will soon become just as congested as 2.4 GHz was, even 802.11ac. So, having a third even higher-bandwidth wireless band will be invaluable, especially for short distance line of sight data transfers. Because 802.11ad is a 60 Ghz implementation,
We spoke with Wilocity’s CEO, Tal Tamir, and Cisco’s Bob Friday, CTO enterprise networking group, and were given a pretty good explanation of where the technology is right now as well as where they see it going. The 802.11ad standard was ratified by the IEEE as a networking standard and runs around 60 GHz. Cisco is partnering with Wilocity to help set up the wireless infrastructure necessary to deploy the WiGig 60 GHz technology into enterprise and industrial applications. Wilocity’s chip will be present in both the client and access point, while the client will most likely be in a Marvell or Qualcomm implementation since Wilocity has made partnership announcements with both companies.
If you look at the channel frequencies above, you can see that 60 Ghz is a ballpark number since there are four different channels that can be used each with a 2.16 GHz channel width. However, if you look at the global banding chart below, you can see that not all countries will be running in the same 60 Ghz frequencies, with some getting far less bands, like Australia, only getting two as opposed to the standard four.
Back in 2012, We had actually talked about how 802.11ad would likely not get any sort of commercial adoption for the next year and a half, and now with Cisco coming onboard as the infrastructure partner as part of this new solution, the standard nears commercialization. Currently, Wilocity’s WiGig 60 Ghz wireless technology is available in some Dell Ultrabooks, but the lack of access points with WiGig renders the technology useless. Having Cisco onboard is huge for WiGig and Wilocity and I expect that we’ll see commercially available end to end solutions in the coming months, which would most likely nail my 18 month prediction almost perfectly.
Either way, the applications for this technology are both numerous and incredibly enabling. With the ability to place an access point on a ceiling of a meeting room, office or even classroom, one could expect pretty stellar coverage and 5 Gbps bandwidth speeds, which would result in improved network throughput on most devices. Additionally, these access points could be placed stadiums and would enable much better content delivery to people attending the game without disrupting their experience. Something like Qualcomm’s FANTasking app would work even better with a 5 Gbps connection. Also, like we stated earlier, it would also enable reduced congestion across home networks as well due to all of the 2.4 and 5 GHz interference in more densely populated areas.
WiGig has a range is going to be fairly shorter than 802.11ac or 802.11n at 5 Ghz and 2.4 Ghz, especially since it can’t penetrate walls easily, but it will be a pretty good line of sight type of application where if you can see the access point you can probably experience a pretty good signal strength and by extension throughput. We’re excited to see this technology get implemented in the enterprise, and hopefully, eventually, in consumer devices pretty soon. Maybe, sooner than we think.