The IEEE finally ratifies 802.11n. The new specification promises faster speeds and longer ranges for wireless networking. The more recent 802.11g lists speeds up to 54Mbps and distance ranges of 150 feet. 802.11n improves on that with theoretical speeds of 160Mbps and ranges greater than 300 feet.
After 7 years of the first conception of the standard, 802.11n is finalized. So what is next on the IEEE’s list of drafts? What will replace 802.11n? Will it take 7 years to complete the new standard of wireless networking?
In the future we may see a 802.11ac and/or 802.11ad.
802.11ac (theoretically) will support speeds from 600 Mbps to 1Gbps. It will utilize <6 GHz frequencies.
802.11ad (theoretically) will support speeds up to 2.5Gbps. It will utilize the 60 GHz frequency band (typically 57-66 GHz).
There is no definite documentation on how far the future standards could reach so I will not speculate. I will say the Wikipedia lists 60-GHz useful for short-range data links 1.06 miles. Another webpage states:
“millimeter-long waves that make up 60GHz signals penetrate walls and furniture poorly, and oxygen readily absorbs the waves' energy. So 802.11ad is best suited for moving data across short distances between devices in the same room.”
Documents on the future wireless standards are popping up every where. Task Group ad(TGad) Chair member Eldad Perahia from Intel, documents a timeline that would publish the standard 802.11ad in the first quarter of 2013. Thank goodness because I hate cables!
:Currently, 802.11ac/ad only exist as Task Groups (TG).