Gigabit Wi-Fi, or 802.11ac, has been slowly appearing in homes, buildings and public hotspots, but according to researchers at OpenSignal, gigabit is not delivering to smartphones and wiring is the culprit. In part with how wireless technology works, and the performance of the wired networks Wi-Fi needs to work, the smartphone reach is strained. Researchers found that the 802.11ac which is the latest and greatest in Wi-Fi capabilites, gives users an average of 32.4Mbps, more than double the speed of anything else on the market. In anticipation of even newer technology, this is actually a great deal slower than the 400Mbps that should be made available with newer versions not on the market, yet.
Researchers wanted to know what accounted for the hold up, as 32.4 and 400 have a great range between them. What has been noticed is that the built-in limitations of wireless are partly to blame, but rather that the speed of wire that is plugged into the access point is the real cause of slower speeds. As technology moves forward, Wi-Fi has surpassed wired networks in many places. However, the wired networks still remain, and if the data ultimately carries over 25Mbps cable broadband, that is basically as much as any user is going to get.
Ethernet is attempting to keep up as 802.11ac gets faster, with new LAN interfaces that can run 5Gbps. At the moment the pickings are slim, and getting 802.11ac with a smartphone is not the norm. In order to do so, a smartphone and wired network are necessary. Most of the time when a smartphone is using Wi-Fi it is on the older, slower, 802.11n. Currently, users in the United States were only on 802.11ac 7.9 percent of the time.
If you would like to educate yourself in more detail about the information presented in this blog post please visit: Newer Wi-Fi’s faster, but it needs a fast wire behind it