Next generation of Wi-Fi: Good expectations for the future

The first version of Wi-Fi was launched at the end of the 1990s, in a particular moment when almost half of U.S. internauts used AOL as Internet Provider and Netscape as the favorite browser. Twenty-five years have passed since people started to use the Wi-Fi standard system: IEEE 802.11. In our time, most users assume there’s Wi-Fi access everywhere and they spend an important amount of their times on Internet. Much more than two decades ago.

This wireless system made a long journey since it was created from a working group gathering in the early 1990s. The first version of Wi-Fi could only support only two Mb/s. Compared to our Wi-Fi version, it’s like baby steps. Ours can support three thousand five-hundred times more data: seven gigabytes every second. What to expect from the next generation of Wi-Fi?

Evolution of goals

Today the trend and the main goal when it comes to the improvement of this technology is to incorporate it into the 802.11 standard. It will improve the amount of storage and shared information, the capacity of doing so and, of course the capability. The technology required is, by far, clearly much more innovative. Standards have advanced tremendously in few years: from a rate of 1 to 2 Mb/s (pretty decent on that time) to eleven. Years later, it increased to fifty-four and then hundreds. Now people are thinking in terms of gigabits and will ask for terabits. The effects of Wi-Fi have gone beyond all kid of predictions. In our days, the new Wi-Fi system works worldwide. In many places it’s sort of a planned infrastructure function. Any kind of electronic devices are becoming smart, not just cell phones. In the future, if someone purchases an electronic eye camera that constantly uploads pictures and video to the cloud, it won’t be hard to believe. And since people never have enough credit on their Internet data, Wifi will be the only option to be permanently online, just like everybody else.

Wi-Fi is a very good example (actually, a historical one) of how technology and information has become available and cheap for all kind of people; and the 802.11 standard the tool that made it possible to anyone to set up a network without using wire, and without license. It’s a huge step for humankind in many senses.

wi-fi_internet connection_communications_don burns
Image courtesy of brendangates at

What to expect of the next Wi-Fi generation?

Today’s Wi-Fi system allows the transit of sixty GHz wireless in its functions. The procedural effort of creating radios in sixty gigahertz are harder than in the rate of two to four or five GHz. Those services will come later to the internet market. It’s expected that they will be a tendency this year, the next one and so on. A rate of sixty gigahertz will be another challenge. It will be necessary a spectrum band with all the technical requirements, that, at the same time may be open to users for a relative low variety of applications. The sixty GHz standard used today runs a data rate that reaches the seven gigabytes, and the next generation will provide an outstanding rate of twenty gigabytes. I know it will be funny for future people to read this, but for us is tremendously positive.

Future challenges

Different from usual Internet access applications, the Internet of Things is definitely a challenge. Users are not interested in speed Internet through-puts, but, at the same time they really need higher power effectiveness and an extensive range. The 802.11 Wi-Fi standard makes available for users the access to protocols for working in a band of nine-hundred MHz. However, a big invest in such technology is needed, and, even though is so important, it’s not easy to find in times of recession. But I know it’s not going to be an obstacle to the progress that such standard will provide.

Reasons behind success

The main advantage of Wi-Fi is that anyone have access to technology an information and don’t need associations with governments. It’s not an elite privilege. The success of today’s Wi-Fi versions is, above all, due to engineers and programmers in the whole amount of companies that create and make available products and services that operate on the standard. Of course, in addition, thanks to users that purchase this technology and support the industry that make it possible.

Another reason of success is what users do online. It’s an infinite chain of feedback processes: they create new products, think of better ways for improving the Wi-Fi technology and produce the demand on the market that helps companies to update the standards. What is happening right now was impossible in other moments of history


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