But questions remain What will What is ac? drive adoption? When can we What will the expect it? impact be?
Wi-Fi ac a quick primer• Next generation Wi-Fi, first part of the ac specification to be ratified in February 2013• Some chipset vendors have already made available Wi-Fi ac chipsets to their partners. Devices already on the market• It has been touted as Gigabyte wireless. Whilst possible, at its base level 1x1 only as fast as 450 Mbps.• Builds on many of the changes and innovations seen in Wi-Fi n
Four drivers for the adoption of Wi-Fi ac Increased Wi-Fi only Increased WiFi Only internet Internet portable Portable usage Usage devices Devices Success of Success of Current andand Current WiFi Wi-Fi in Expected Integration expected Usage integration in Smart TV usage Problems Smart TV devices problems devices
Four drivers for the adoption of Wi-Fi ac Increased Wi-Fi only internet portable usage devices Success of Current and Wi-Fi expected integration in usage Smart TV problems devices
Popularity of online video Online video users (mil.) 2,500.0 2,124.9 2,000.0 1,919.2 1,722.8 1,539.1 1,500.0 1,365.7 1,195.3 1,000.0 500.0 0.0 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 • Video is expected to be the main driver of internet traffic growth • Unlike web browsing, email, software downloads video is time sensitive
Portable devices rely heavily on Wi-Fi Tablets Smartphones Ultrabooks• Ultrabook laptops often lack Ethernet ports• Tablets and smart phones users rely heavily on home Wi-Fi and hotspots• These devices are just emerging so Wi-Fi networks are only going to come under more strain
The smartphone effect Smart phones sales (mil.) 2010-20161000 800 600 400 200 0 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016• Wi-Fi ac will only be in smartphones at the earliest in 2013• With such a large market that even a small percentage will be substantial• Short life cycles will have a positive impact on Wi-Fi ac install rates
Smart TV devices on the rise 450 Global, in-home connected device sales forecasts 400 350 300 250 200 150 100 50 - 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 Connected TVs BD STB Console Media streamer • Perhaps not all but certainly many of these devices will be connecting to the internet over Wi-Fi.
Stationary devices are opting for Wi-Fi• Those that Smart TVs and games consoles that use Wi-Fi have higher connection rates• Suggesting users are not only reluctant to use Ethernet, but are comfortable with Wi-Fi• HD Video is a key service and improving performance will be essential going forward.
The congestion problem • The 2.4Ghz spectrum, used by Wi-Fi b/g/n is already congested. • Congestion causes interference which has a detrimentl effect on users’ Wi-Fi experience • Less important for applications which are not time sensitive
Congestion is already a problem• Wi-Fi ac attempts to solve this congestion problem by abandoning the 2.4Ghz spectrum.• It uses the 5Ghz spectrum exclusively.• At present 5Ghz is far less busy, so moving over to this spectrum should benefit end users.
Number of devices using WiFi (a/b/g/n) The negative impact of new connected devices User experience
Edging closer to that tipping point• Almost at the point where Wi-Fi n is no longer a solution, but a problem• Some households closer than others• The average user does not understand the situation • Expect Wi-Fi to just work
Wi-Fi ac can solve the congestion problem… Wi-Fi n can only send and receive data from one device at a time. • Sending bursts of data to each in turn • The more devices the slower data transfer is as it takes the router longer to come back round to the original device Wi-Fi ac can the demands of multiple devices simultaneously due to multiuser MIMO (MU-MIMO) • Data is sent and recieved from each device, which receives the full bandwidth on offer continuously. • This should speed up data transfer and improve the user experience. MU-MIMO is one of the major innovations of the Wi-Fi ac standard • However it will only be fully ratified in the second draft which will be ratified after 2012
…. But expect 5Ghz to become clogged• Some European operators that have adopted the 5Ghz spectrum for their IPTV services are already reporting seeing congestion• Inevitably the more devices that use the 5Ghz spectrum the greater the chance of interference and congestion.• The challenge of what to do once this becomes a problem needs to be dealt with ahead of time. • Dual band solutions may be one solution. • The short range ad standard could be another
Behaviour will adapt to new throughput New technology: Increased Throughput Throughput deficit Temporary surplus New applications Increased usage of old applications
Video will be accessible from everywhere• Potent cocktail of: • More devices, used in multiple rooms • New lighter form factors will increase portability • More reliable connections • Greater throughput • Plethora of services
Conclusions Wi-Fi ac is a major step forward and can support multiple devices much better than n. • However, to avoid congestion down the line use of wireline technologies should be deployed where they can. Smartphones will drive adoption of Wi-Fi ac • They will benefit most as they tend not to have room for multiple antenna Inside the home the major hindrance to take-up of Wi-Fi ac will be broadband operators. • These operators should seriously consider rolling out this technology as it should significantly impact subscriber experience.
References• “Examining the drivers for the adoption and potential impact of Wi-Fi ac”, Andrew Landbrooke, WiFi World Summit, Sept. 2012, Barcelona