In a short statement released Sunday, Samsung Electronics claims to have made a breakthrough in WiFi technology, which would allow for a 1GB file to be downloaded in under 3 seconds.
Samsung says its 60GHz WiFi technology offers a “five-fold increase” from the maximum speed currently possible with existing electronic devices.
“Samsung’s new technology removes the gap between theoretical and actual speeds, and exhibits actual speed that is more than 10 times faster than that of 2.4 Ghz and 5GHz WiFi technologies,” the company says.
Samsung claims it is able to eliminate the “cocktail party problem,” in which too many signals from too many smartphones and tablets in one room cause too much interference. But Samsung might be more capable of bringing this new tech to market in the near-term, considering its large footprint in the consumer electronics world.
Now here’s the downside: Suddenly having faster WiFi-enabled devices doesn’t speed up your broadband connection — only your internal network — so internet service providers like Time Warner Cable would likely have to get behind this initiative as well.
Furthermore, the effective range for 60GHz is extremely short — just 15 feet — which means this new standard wouldn’t be able to travel through walls, or even small obstacles. It would be good for sharing content between a device and a TV, but it wouldn’t blanket an area quite like current WiFi technologies can.
And to clarify, Samsung didn’t “invent” this new WiFi standard, which is officially termed “802.11 ad.” This standard was pioneered by WiGig, which was acquired by the WiFi Alliance last year, and initially promised 7 Gigabits per second (Gbps) — much faster than the 4.6 Gbps Samsung is promising. But even in that earlier implementation, WiGig insisted 802.11 ad WiFi would not replace current wireless networks, but supplement them, by providing speedy bursts of connectivity over extremely short distances.
We’ve reached out to Samsung about these issues, and we’ll update the story as soon as we learn more.
Samsung hopes to apply the new WiFi standard to audio visual and medical devices, telecommunications equipment, and it will be “integral to developments relevant to the Samsung Smart Home and other initiatives related to the Internet of Things,” according to the company.
Samsung says the first devices to use the 60GHz WiFi standard will appear in 2015.
“New and innovative changes await Samsung’s next-generation devices, while new possibilities have been opened up for the future development of Wi-Fi technology,” Kim Chang Yong, head of Samsung’s DMC R&D Center, said in a statement.