Updated: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 14:47:44 GMT | By Relaxnews

Certification program begins for new super-fast wi-fi standard

Gigabit wi-fi can transfer a full HD film to a tablet in under four minutes and the first smartphones and computers that support the new technology are already being certified for use.

Certification program begins for new super-fast wi-fi standard

Certification program begins for new super-fast wi-fi standard

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization whose job it is to set and ensure that device makers meet industry standards pertaining to wi-fi technology, has started certifying the new "Gigabit" Wi-Fi standard.

The Gigabit, or to give it its technical name, the 802.11ac standard, offers the fastest wireless transfer speeds yet and is strong enough and powerful enough to support ultra-high definition video streaming; to support a large number of devices all using the wi-fi signal simultaneously; and to provide connectivity in every room of the house from a single router. In other words, it should offer the same sort of performance as plugging a computer directly into a router via the gigabit Ethernet cable (hence the Gigabit nickname).

As such it is a standard that has been developed to support the future, not just in terms of the growing ubiquity of connected devices -- from smartphones to TVs -- but also in terms of the type of content that is going to be delivered over the net over the next decade.

Although the Wi-Fi Alliance has only this week begun the very long process of officially certifying devices such as routers, computers and smartphones that use the new standard, a number of companies have been using the new standard in their products for a number of months, including Apple and Samsung.

The latest generation MacBook Air superlight notebooks, that were officially revealed at this month's Apple World Wide Developer Conference come with Gigabit wi-fi (as do Apple's new base stations and wireless hard drives) while the Samsung Galaxy SIV Active smartphone and Galaxy Mega range of phablets have supported the protocol since their launch and as such this week became the first phones to receive official certification for the wireless standard.

To make a valid product easier for the average consumer to recognise, the Wi-Fi Alliance will simply brand qualifying devices as "Wi-Fi CERTIFIEDTM ac" to avoid any confusion with other certification standards.

It could take up to two years for the wider consumer device industry to fully adopt the new networking standard, but don't panic. All devices that already do conform or that will conform to the new standard must be able to work on existing wireless standards (full backwards compatibility) meaning that if a home wireless router supports the latest connection speeds but the wireless cards in the TV and desktop are much older, connection will not be a problem.


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