Just when you thought you were on top of things by ripping out your old networking gear and replacing it all with 802.11n compliant devices, a new standard is on the horizon. It's called 802.11ac and it's a new Wi-Fi technology that promises 1Gbps speeds. According to In-Stat, 802.11ac will roll out next year, and by 2015 will dominate the market with nearly 1 billion 802.11ac-enabled devices.
"The goal of 802.11ac is to provide data speeds much faster than 802.11n, with speeds of around 1Gpbs," says Frank Dickson , Vice President of Research. "The timing for 802.11ac approval is to have a draft standard created by 2011 and have the first 802.11ac products out by the end of 2012. The technology behind 802.11ac has not been finalized. However, it will likely involve bonding four or even eight channels together and some tweaks to the modulation scheme."
In-Stat feels pretty confidant that 802.11ac will be a near instant hit and predicts that all mobile hotspot shipments will support the new standard in 2015. We'd like to see that happen, let's just hope the IEEE 802.11 Working Group doesn't drag its feet finalizing the standard like it did with 802.11n, which 'only' took a mere seven years .