Sunday, July 22, 2012

Collaboration, Innovation and 5G WiFi

The IEEE standards association is a fantastic model of collaboration that brings together competing organizations, ideas and interests to advance technology and the framework for innovation. Companies from all over the world send highly talented engineers and scientists to develop standards within IEEE working groups. Competing companies collaborate to develop the standards that enable interoperability, innovation, and ultimately competition between those same companies. The consumer is the biggest winner of this cooperation and standardization. With a common and open standard, the marketplace creates the competitive environment that leads to innovative new products and drives prices down over time.

A standard that you will likely hear more about is the IEEE 802.11 Wireless LAN (a.k.a. WiFi) standard. A new 5th generation (5G) WiFi standard, designated 802.11ac will deliver multi-Gbps data rates. This is significant because 802.11ac will enable faster wireless data rates than most of us now have with our wired 100 Mbps connections. The 802.11ac standard is still in draft form and not expected to be completed until later this year, but already there are 5G WiFi products available. This shows the pace of market-driven innovation.