That's all going to change in the upcoming months, as the Wi-Fi Alliance and WiGig Alliance have allied themselves today in order to being 60GHz transmissions to the Wi-Fi products we all know and love. The two have announced a cooperation agreement for multi-gigabit wireless networking, and as with the introduction of the 1.1 specification of WirelessHD, this news couldn't have come soon enough. Speeds of yesteryear aren't enough for tomorrow, and as with USB 2.0 falling to USB 3.0, we need new specifications to push more megabytes over the air in a timely fashion.
The new alliance will let Wi-Fi products operate on the 60GHz band, and of course, this is targeted primarily for applications that require gigabit speeds. HD streamers, wireless 1080p transfers and all sorts of other high-bandwidth applications will benefit from being able to utilize 60GHz bands. Best of all, the new partnership has stated that "a significant portion, if not all, of these devices are expected to also support traditional Wi-Fi networking in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands."
No mention is made of when 60GHz Wi-Fi products will ship to average consumers, but hopefully it won't be long now.
The WiGig Alliance, which shares many member companies in common with the Wi-Fi Alliance, was formed to unify the next generation of multi-gigabit wireless products by encouraging the adoption and widespread use of 60 GHz wireless technology worldwide.
The WiGig specification defines protocols to deliver data transfer rates measured in gigabits rather than megabits and supports a new range of applications and usages. The specification also defines procedures to enable WiGig compliant devices to hand over sessions to operate in the 2.4 or 5 GHz band. It is expected that a new class of tri-band Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ devices will offer multi-gigabit wireless speeds while helping to ensure backward compatibility.
"There is no question that this agreement will enable 60 GHz technology to form an important part of the high-performance future for wireless networking," said Phil Solis, practice director for Wireless Connectivity at ABI Research. "By cooperating, the groups have set a course for interoperability and backward compatibility that will accelerate the adoption and usefulness of multi-gigabit wireless networking."