A partnership between the WiFi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance aims to encourage the development of products supporting 60 GHz technology.
The WiFi Alliance, a non-profit industry association, and the
Wireless Gigabit Alliance, providers of WiGig wireless technology,
announced a cooperation agreement for multi-gigabit wireless
networking. The WiFi Alliance and the WiGig Alliance said they would
share technology specifications for the development of a
next-generation WiFi Alliance certification program supporting WiFi
operation in the 60 GHz frequency band. The organizations said the
agreement would further encourage the development of products
supporting 60 GHz technology to expand existing WiFi capabilities.
The WiGig specification defines protocols to deliver data transfer
rates measured in gigabits rather than megabits and supports a 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. The company said it expected a new class of tri-band
WiFi Certified devices would offer multi-gigabit wireless speeds while
helping to ensure backward compatibility.
"60 GHz device connectivity will be an exciting enhancement to the
capabilities of today's WiFi technologies. It will expand the utility
of WiFi, used by hundreds of millions of people every day," said WiFi
Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa. "From its inception, the WiGig
specification was designed to work on a wide variety of devices, making
it a compelling input as we begin to define our certification program
for 60 GHz wireless."
Device connectivity in the 60 GHz band would complement the current
family of WiFi technologies, WiGig said. Targeted primarily for
applications that require gigabit speeds, the company said it expects
60 GHz products to be used in a wide range of high-performance devices
and a significant portion of these devices are expected to also support
traditional WiFi networking in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.
"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
The WiGig Alliance, which shares many member companies in common
with the WiFi 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. "Now that our
specification is complete and published, it's time to set our sights on
driving a great user experience through interoperability and
certification," said Ali Sadri, president and chairman of the WiGig
Alliance. "We are happy to work with the WiFi Alliance to extend
multi-gigabit capabilities to the WiFi technology portfolio."
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.