WiFi Performance to Improve As FCC Opens Unlicensed Frequencies
In February, the Wall Street Journal reported on the formation of a new lobbying group called WifiForward that advocated the opening up of unlicensed frequencies to alleviate Wi-Fi congestion and improve performance. The group consisted of industry partners including Google, Best Buy, Microsoft, and many others.
Today, the FCC voted unanimously to unleash more unlicensed spectrum will support all the things we already use and further drive investment and experimentation—a 50% increase in spectrum available for Wi-Fi, to be exact. Consumer devices are already equipped to operate in the band, so they can easily be adapted to quickly take advantage of new 5 GHz channels. And a new Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ac, has just been approved for the 5 GHz band. 802.11ac’s wide channels will allow for a better consumer experience.
The group indicates that consumer devices will be "easily" adapted to take advantage of the new 5GHz channels, and that 802.11ac will be able to take advantage of the new bandwidth.
802.11ac or "Gigabit" Wi-Fi offers speeds up to three times as fast as existing 802.11n wireless networks. 802.11ac has been introduced into Apple's Mac line starting in 2013, and is expected to be included in the iPhone 6 later this year.