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Wireless Networking at 60 GHz

While the attention is on sub-GHz frequencies in the UHF broadcast band to offer sub-gigabit data rates around 10 Mbps, the Wi-Fi Alliance and the WiGig Alliance announced they will cooperate on expansion of Wi-Fi technologies to 60 GHz frequencies. Wi-Fi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa said, "60 GHz device connectivity will be an exciting enhancement to the capabilities of today's Wi-Fi technologies. It will expand the utility of Wi-Fi, used by hundreds of millions of people every day, From its inception, the WiGig specification was designed to work on a wide variety of devices, making it a compelling input as we begin to define our certification program for 60 GHz wireless."

Phil Solis, practice director for wireless Connectivity at ABI Research said, "By cooperating, the groups have set a course for interoperability and backward compatibility that will accelerate the adoption and usefulness of multi-gigabit wireless networking."

The current WiGig specification allows data rates up to 7 Gbps, enough to stream multiple uncompressed HDTV programs. By using beam forming, it allows robust communications at distances beyond 10 meters. It also allows fall back to existing 802.11 5.8 GHz or 2.4 GHz links for compatibility with existing Wi-Fi devices.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.