The next generation of Wi-Fi standard – 802.11ac,-promises faster wireless speed and higher data rates than its predecessor, and will encourage the spread of video and uploading and downloading large files. However, it does not replace the Ethernet is completely due to the lower cost of wireless communications, analysts said.
Gregory Potter, an analyst with research firm NPD In-Stat, said that the new specification has several advantages compared with existing standard 802.11n. They are quickly set the connection speed of more than 1 Gbps, and more energy savings when used on mobile devices, he said.
Kelly Davis-Felner, marketing director for Wi-Fi Alliance, adding that 802.11ac working in less than 5 GHz are used, which makes it a compelling opportunity to expand capacity of home Wi-Fi networks, as consumers are increasingly connected mobile devices and use the data hungry applications.
The new standard also allows to achieve higher throughput by increasing the air concepts used by 802.11n, such as a wide radio frequency (RF) bandwidth, a MIMO (multiple input multiple output) spatial streams and high-density modulation, said Filomena Berardi, senior Wi-Fi analyst at IMS Research.
In terms of convincing cases of new Wi-Fi specification, Potter identified the distribution of video, as one such example.
"Imagine that your cable box wirelessly powered video [content] on the TVs in other rooms in the house," he said, adding that large file transfers to mobile devices in the home computer can also benefit.
Davis-Felner noted, consumer and corporate products are supported by the new specification. "The devices ranging from laptops, tablets, printers, televisions, appliances, and smart phones will see the benefits in performance and throughput, as well as take advantage of less crowded frequencies," she said.
Advanced new specification will not completely replace the need for enterprises for Ethernet, though, but complements it, said Berardi.
Potter added that small and home offices (SOHO) has led to a large extent the trend Wi-Fi Ethernet replaced for several years, and with the new specification, it is expected that this trend applies to large businesses.
There will still be companies prefer to use Ethernet-cable due to the lower cost and a lot of office buildings are already wired for Ethernet, he said. In addition, more cost-effective for companies with a growing number of employees to opt for wired connections, he added.
Consumers need to convince
NPD In-Stat, said an analyst with research firm previously predicted to be 700000000 802.11ac devices shipped in 2015. At the outset, however, manufacturers have difficulty in persuading consumers to adopt a new network equipment, he said.
However, there will always be consumers who want "the latest and greatest" gadgets and this demographic will be the one driving the initial adoption.
Davis-Felner noted that the industry standard 802.11ac is still being developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is currently, and is expected to be completed in 2013. She added that Wi-Fi Alliance expects to see the devices are certified with the specification in late 2012 or early 2013, with a higher uptake of these devices from next year forward.