Monday the Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wireless Gigabit Alliance (WiGig) jointly announced a cooperation agreement that will allow Wi-Fi equipment to access the 60 GHz frequency band, and to provide better speeds in the current 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. Devices that will support all three bandwidths will be able to achieve up to 7 Gbps although the range will most likely be limited to in-room transfers. Still, this is good news for consumers who want to stream Blu-ray movies to a living room HDTV.
"60 GHz device connectivity will be an exciting enhancement to the capabilities of today's Wi-Fi technologies," said Wi-Fi Alliance chief executive officer Edgar Figueroa. "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."
In a separate announcement, WiGig said that it published its unified wireless specification for the unlicensed 60 GHz spectrum. It also launched its royalty-free Adopter Program which allow members to develop products that use the spectrum "to deliver multi-gigabit-speed wireless communication." Cisco, Hitachi, Panasonic, and Toshiba have already jumped on board, and may have tri-band products ready by the end of the year.
"With this announcement today, and with our new partnership with the Wi-Fi Alliance, we are one step closer to fulfilling our vision of a unified 60 GHz ecosystem," said Dr. Ali Sadri, WiGig Alliance president and chairman. "We welcome all companies to join with us as we continue to drive the industry forward."