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802.11ac Wi-Fi: Coming to a Network Near You in 2012

The fifth generation of the Wi-Fi standard boasts up to three times the speed of Wireless N.

One thing every user and IT admin can agree on is that faster Wi-Fi data speeds would be a dream come true. In 2012, we can all consider our Gigabit dreams fulfilled as 802.11ac devices begin to roll out later this year.

Wi-Fi chipset maker Broadcom announced that devices with 802.11ac compatibility would be hitting the market this summer. The company has launched a website, 5gwifi.org, to promote the next generation of Wi-Fi, and on the site, they’ve put together timeline of the evolution of Wi-Fi.

Evolution of Wi-Fi

In 1997, the first generation of the wireless Internet standard transmitted data at 2 megabits per second. But in 2012, 802.11ac promises gigabit data speeds. That’s a 500-fold increase in Wi-Fi data speeds over a 15-year time span. That’s progress.

So what will we do with all that speed? More video conferencing, more media streaming and more mobile computing.

Are you eager for a faster wireless future?

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Apr 23 2012 Spice IT

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