With all the hype this week surrounding new smartphones, smart watches and a new payment approach from a company named after a fruit, it is easy to overlook the significance of the addition of 802.11 AC wireless to its smartphones. PC Magazine didn’t miss this subtlety, however, as seen in its article, 5 ways 802.11 ac improves the iPhone. With 100 MHz of unlicensed spectrum made available by the FCC (5150 – 5250 MHz) last spring, the AC standard has the potential to allow gigabit networking both within the home and, potentially, from outdoor hot spots.
Barely one month after the FCC’s action releasing more spectrum for WiFi, CableLabs demonstrated how bonding of channels within the new and existing spectrum could yield data rates of more than 1.8 Gb/s. In above video, CableLabs’ Rob Alderfer suggests that there are already some devices on the market that will be able to take advantage of the new spectrum, while AC products with the ability to bond channels are expected to be out later this year. Alderfer and his CableLab colleagues, along with the University of Colorado, were pivotal in helping the FCC understand the technical ramifications of opening up this new spectrum.