IEEE 802.11ac to emerge as dominant Wi-Fi protocol by 2014

Following small shipment volumes in 2012 and a
significant increase in shipments in 2013, IEEE 802.11ac will emerge as the
dominant Wi-Fi protocol by 2014. Only a niche subset of 802.11ac will be
single-band 802.11ac, using solely the five GHz band. Most will be
802.11n/802.11ac dual-band chipsets, according to ABI Research.



Established Wi-Fi chipset vendors such as Broadcom,
Intel, Qualcomm Atheros, and Texas Instruments will attempt to maintain or grow
their share of the market by transitioning as fast as possible. The smaller
vendors will attempt to grow their market share during the transition by
quickly shipping chipsets with competitive protocol, band, and MIMO



While 802.11ad products will make an early debut, with a
Qualcomm Atheros and Wilocity partnership leading the way, 802.11ad will not
reach the 50 percent mark until 2016. It will be used in dual- and tri-band



Because of their lower cost, 802.11n and 802.11ac
chipsets with 1X1 will remain dominant until 2015, when they will be surpassed
by both 2X2 and 3X3 chipsets. 2X2 chipsets for mobile devices that can fall
back to 1X1 will be indispensable to enabling this transition.



With the exception of a small and dwindling number of
802.11g chipsets, everything has already shifted to 802.11n, and it has
happened faster than most people expected. This is a clear indication of what
will happen with 802.11ac,” said Philip Solis, research director, mobile
networks, ABI Research.



The 1×1 version of 802.11n replaced 802.11g. A rapid
transition will occur with 802.11ac, but without the messy politics that slowed
down the standardization of 802.11n in the past.



By Team
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