Wireless Standards' One Commonality: Reliance on Device Resources


All has been quiet for some time on the introduction of wireless data networking standard proposals. That lull, apparently, has ended.

The WiGig Alliance, according to Computerworld
, has launched and promised to offer a 60 GHz, 6 Gigabit per second (GPS) standard. The basic idea behind WiGig is to enable extremely fast Gigabits-per-second data transfers on indoor networks. The initial focus seems to be on consumers, with enterprise uses coming later. The standard is expected to be submitted by the end of the year. Members of the alliance include a lot of the heavy hitters in the Wi-Fi and broader telecommunications game, the story says.

The biggest problem for wireless standards might be the difficulty of staking out a niche. Some observers suggest that 802.11n, which is displacing 802.11g, was going to be the high end for a while. The emergence of WiGig raises questions about that.

Other high-capacity, short-distance approaches include ultrawideband, Bluetooth and Zigbee. The familiar 802.11 standards-A, G and B-as well as the rapidly rising 802.11n flavor-also are available to vendors, service providers and end users. In broader distribution arena, there are the 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) and WiMax standards.

Some of these standards, of course, are only tangentially related to each other. In other cases, there is a real competition for how people will perform a particular task. The most common thread-and the thing that big-picture planners have to keep abreast of-is how each of these will coexist on the same mobile device. Ultimately, the calculus involves how to integrate the technology without creating interference, keeping the device reasonably small and and not killing battery life. These are particularly sensitive issues in cell phones and smartphones, since they are the smallest devices and offer the greatest level of difficulty.