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Long road ahead for Samsung's wi-fi ambitions

Wednesday, October 15th 2014 by Ellen Branagh

Samsung's improvements in wi-fi speed still have a “long process to go through” before they can be rolled out internationally, according to an expert.

Yesterday the firm announced the development of wi-fi technology that would allow data to be transmitted at speeds of up to 4.6Gbps – five times faster than the maximum 866Mbps possible with current existing consumer devices.

It would mean a 1GB movie would take less than three seconds to transfer between devices, while uncompressed high-definition videos could be streamed from mobile devices to TVs in real-time without any delay, Samsung said.

But telecoms analyst Oliver Johnson, from market intelligence firm Point Topic, said standards and certification would still prove “time hogs”, with a long process to go through.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk, he said, “As with many advances there’s still a long process to go through.

“Standards and certification are the primary time hogs but you can’t go forward internationally without lots of consultation.

“A single market (and Japan quite often does this for example) could well take the step of adopting a particular technology and manufacturing all the equipment that means it can be implemented but if the manufacturer wants international sales then they go through standards and certification.

“If your phone doesn’t recognise the wi-fi protocol that your router is using then you won’t get any bandwidth at all.

“Add in the spectrum change, which may be used for different purposes in different markets and it’s not surprising it takes a while.”

Announcing its new technology, Samsung Electronics said that unlike its existing 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi technologies, its 802.11ad standard 60GHz Wi-Fi technology maintains maximum speed by eliminating co-channel interference, regardless of the number of devices using the same network.

Samsung plans to apply the new technology to a wide range of products, and said it will also be integral to developments relating to the Samsung Smart Home.

Paul Templeton, General Manager, Enterprise Networks, Samsung UK & Ireland, said, “Samsung prides itself at being of the forefront of technology innovation, and is delighted to have overcome the barriers to the commercialisation of 60GHz millimetre-wave band Wi-Fi technology.

“This breakthrough has opened the door to exciting possibilities for Samsung’s next-generation devices, and has also changed the face of the future development of wi-fi technology, promising innovations that were not previously within reach.”

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