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Tri-band Wi-Fi networking gets seal of approval from IEEE

Faster networking speeds could be achievable after the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers approved a new amendment to its 802.11 standard.
Written by Sam Shead, Contributor

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has approved a new wireless specification that could be used in devices to deliver tri-band networking and support Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) technology. 

The IEEE said it has approved the new 802.11ad standard, which has the potential to deliver speeds of up to 7Gbps by using the unlicensed 60GHz radio spectrum band (typically 57-66GHz), in an announcement in Las Vegas on Tuesday.

"By migrating up to the next ISM band (60GHz), we break ground on new spectrum for IEEE 802.11, enable an order of magnitude improvement in performance and enable usages that have never before been possible with existing IEEE 802.11 - namely wireless docking and streaming video," Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN Working Group, said in a statement.

The IEEE Standards Association claims the development means networking speeds with 802.11ad will be up to 10 times the rate of speeds offered through 802.11n, the current Wi-Fi standard, which uses the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. 802.11ad will enable quicker networking speeds because it is less likely to intercept and interfere with other networks due to the shorter range of the 60GHz band.

"IEEE 802.11 is undergoing a continuous process of refinement and innovation to address the evolving needs of the marketplace, and there is no better proof of that fact than IEEE 802.11ad," Kraemer said.

The improvements in IEEE's existing 802.11 spectrum were made possible using 'beam forming' technology, which provides more efficient, directional transmission of signals. 

Wireless speeds of up to 7Gbps could support high-speed file transfers and WiGig docking technology, which can be used to wirelessly connect an ultrabook or tablet to a display the moment it is placed on a desk. 

The IEEE showed off several devices at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) that are compatible with 802.11ad, such as Qualcomm and Wilocity's new tri-band chip

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