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 networking."
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."