Huawei Technologies officials say the giant tech vendor has successfully tested a WiFi service that hit more than 10 gigabits per second, a speed that is 10 times faster than what is currently commercially available.
The company said the test was conducted on its campus in Shenzhen, China, and is a significant step in the continued development of WiFi technology as the industry deals with the rapidly growing numbers of devices connecting to the Internet, as well as trends such as cloud computing, mobility, big data, the Internet of things and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), which are increasing the demand for greater wireless speed and bandwidth.
According to Huawei officials, in laboratory tests in China, company researchers ran a next-generation WiFi standard (802.11ax) over 5GHz frequency bands, hitting a speed of 10.53G bps. Currently, the WiFi industry is migrating from 802.11n to 802.11ac, which in most solutions can go as fast as 1.3G bps. Huawei officials said the ability to crank the speed up to more than 10G bps will offer the bandwidth that will give rise to larger big data applications and video workloads, which will be able to be delivered more quickly.
In addition, mobile carriers are looking to WiFi networks to offload some of the increasing traffic that's coming onto their broadband networks.
That will be important as the demand for faster WiFi continues to grow. According to the industry group the WiFi Alliance, WiFi is in more than 25 percent of homes worldwide, and about 2 billion WiFi devices were sold in 2013. In addition, the number of mobile devices connecting to the Internet is rapidly increasing. Cisco Systems, in its annual mobile data traffic report in February, said that the number of mobile users globally will grow from 4.1 billion in 2013 to 4.9 billion by 2018, and that the number of mobile connections—from personal devices to machine-to-machine (M2M) connections—will hit more than 10 billion by 2018, up from 7 billion in 2013.
The result is a mobile traffic forecast that says that worldwide mobile data traffic will increase almost 11 times over the next four years, hitting an annual rate of 190 exabytes by 2018.
Huawei officials said products supporting ultrafast WiFi could become commercially available by 2018, as long as the necessary standards and chipsets are in place. The success of the tests opens up the possibility for the validation of technologies for the faster WiFi speeds. That will be important, given the increasing demand for faster speeds in such dense environments as business offices, airports, sports stadiums and shopping malls, Huawei officials said.
The tech vendor, which has been working on WiFi solutions since 2010, was able to leverage such technologies as MIMO-OFDA and better use of more intelligent spectrum allocation, interference reduction and hybrid access via multiple antennas to reach the 10G bps milestone, the company said.
MIMO-OFDA actually is a combination of two technologies. MIMO (multiple-in, multiple-out) leverages multiple antennas for both transmitting and receiving for better communications performance, while OFDA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access) uses multiple data streams.