The Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance have reached an agreement to set up standards for Wi-Fi to operate in the previously unclaimed 60 GHz frequency band, which would offer up to 10 times faster data transfer speeds. Currently, Wi-Fi operates in the 2.4 GHz an 5 GHz frequency bands.
”The 60-GHz band allows for significant boost in performance, so we are talking about speeds in the gigabits per second range,” says the executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance, Edgar Figueroa.
Unfortunately, the new standard would come with severe drawbacks; Wi-Fi signal operating in the 60 GHz band would not be able to penetrate walls; one would need to have line of sight for a decent connection. However, the increase in speed is so significant that the trade-off would definitely be worth it in certain situations.
It’s not going to happen overnight, though. After the standard is set, consumers will want routers and wireless adapters that can switch between two or all three (2.4 GHz, 5 GHz and 60 GHz) Wi-Fi frequency bands. Figueroa estimates that these will be available on the market in about two years.