Superfast wireless connectivity is something that many businesses require at the moment, but a variety of factors can impact on things like Wi-Fi and 4G, in a way that makes it difficult to achieve theoretical maximum data transfer speeds.
Improvements made to wireless technologies tend to be incremental, but this week South Korean tech giant, Samsung, revealed that it has developed the next generation of Wi-Fi which is apparently capable of reaching speed of 4.6Gbps.
To put that in perspective, this equates to data transfer capabilities of around 575 megabytes per second, making it possible to transfer a gigabyte of information from one wireless device to another at a blistering pace of under three seconds, according to TechRadar.
This figure is clearly dependent on a litany of other influences, including the speed with which devices can actually read and write data to whatever storage solution they have onboard, on top of the capabilities of the networking infrastructure to which they are connected. But the promise of 60GHz Wi-Fi, and its potential to outdo current wireless connectivity by a factor of five, is something that should prove very potent in years to come.
Boost for businesses
While the new technology may offer a significant leap forward in data transfer speeds, it will not be long until it starts appearing in business mobile devices. The manufacturer intends to begin integration of 60GHz Wi-Fi in 2015, with its potential applications spreading beyond tablets and smartphones, to encompass a broad swathe of devices in the so-called Internet of Things.
Enterprise customers will be pleased to hear that a 60GHz Wi-Fi infrastructure is not just fast, but capable of servicing a significant number of devices, without resulting in slowdown for individual users. While current networks can become overburdened during peak periods, maximum speeds should still be attainable, thanks to the elimination of interference, according to Samsung.
Overcoming signal degradation when Wi-Fi is being used through walls is another thing that the move to the 802.11ad standard can apparently overcome. For businesses based in larger offices, or premises split over several floors, making the upgrade could be essential.
Of course, it is sensible to take pre-release boasts about the performance of new connectivity solutions with a pinch of salt. But as businesses move to embrace a more mobile, connected approach to operating, it will be necessary for developments like this to occur, or more importantly for them to be adopted quickly after launch.
Rumours suggest that the Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone, which will launch in the first half of 2015, could be one of the first handsets to be endowed with 60GHz Wi-Fi compatibility. And given that Samsung?s current crop of mobile devices are not selling as well as expected, this kind of feature could be a major selling point next year.
The one issue with the improving data transfer speeds of Wi-Fi is that the fixed line business broadband services to which routers will be connected are not exactly capable of hitting the 4.2Gbps promised by Samsung. So if there is going to be a bottleneck going forwards, it looks like it will be landline connectivity, rather than the wireless solutions, that connect individual devices to the internet.
Even if it does take time for landline speeds to match the potential of Wi-Fi, the fact that device-to-device data speeds will be getting a boost next year should be seen as a good sign for businesses. And as BYOD means that more devices need to be connected wirelessly to the on-site network, the alleviation of traffic issues will be another boon.