The number of devices that will come with 802.11ac connectivity, the new Wi-Fi technology standard developed to provide Gigabit speeds, is expected to reach one billion by 2015 according to a report published by analyst firm In-stat.
The standard aims to achieve maximum multi station throughput of 1Gbps with a maximum single link throughput of at least 500Mbps. It will also be backward compatible with legacy 802.11x devices operating at 5GHz which means that the crowded 2.4GHz band will all be left behind
The latest update made by the TGac can be found here; the first draft (D0.1) is already available for review until the 27th of February 2011.
The technology - which has yet to be finalised - will improve on existing one and is likely to clustering four or even eight channels altogether with some serious tweaks to the modulation scheme.
One potential improvement may include looking at 80MHz channels or even 160MHz ones which could double or even quadruple the amount of bandwidth available.
Likewise, implementing Multiple User MIMO could allow different users to receive simultaneous streams using the same channels; this would work wonders in scenarios with very high user density for example at events, exhibitions, hotspots etc.
Work on 1Gbps Wireless technology started back in March 2008 with Intel and Motorola heavily involved as well. The draft standard for 802.11ac is expected to be approved by the end of 2011 with the first products expected to be announced by the end of 2012, is slightly later than originally expected.
In-stat also says that Mobile devices with Wi-Fi will account for around 800 million units by 2015 with 100 per cent of mobile hotspot shipments supporting 802.11ac (by then 802.11ac will have been around for three years).