Wi-Fi 802.11ac to be the New Norm in Smartphones by 2015

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With almost every smartphone shipped this year offering some form of Wi-Fi capabilities, the Wi-Fi 802.11n protocol has been the most commonly used in recent times, yet a new study projects that another Wi-Fi standard will soon begin to dominate mobile devices.

Wi-Fi 802.11acAccording to market intelligence from ABI Research, which specializes in global technology markets, the IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi protocol will begin to gain traction in the next two to three years, beating out existing 802.11b, g, and n protocols to account for seventy percent of mobile handset shipments with Wi-Fi by 2015.

The new network will reportedly offer numerous advantages over the current 802.11n protocol, which is used in the iPhone 5. Senior analyst Josh Flood claims the wireless connection speed with Wi-Fi 802.11ac will not only be much quicker than its predecessors, but will also provide better range and improved reliability, as well as superior power consumption.

Flood also hints that the new standard will benefit gamers and content-hungry consumers, stating that 802.11ac will be particularly good for gaming experiences and HD video streaming on mobile devices, thanks to its multiple 2×2 streams capabilities.

Similar to the projected change in Wi-Fi connections, Bluetooth technology will undergo some major developments. In 2012, 65 percent of mobile devices will incorporate Bluetooth generation 1.0, 2.0 and 3.0, known as Bluetooth Classic, according to ABI. Yet, by 2014 smartphones equipped with Bluetooth Smart Ready, or generation 4.0, will surpass those utilizing Bluetooth Classic.

First introduced on select smartphones in 2011, Bluetooth Smart Ready offers the same 100-meter range as past generations, with its data similar to the 26Mbps of Bluetooth 3.0, however it is far more energy efficient. ABI Research cites that generation 4.0 will extend the possible usage of the technology by five to ten times, depending on user behavior.

As the advancements in the modern day smartphone have been rather impressive in recent years, with many of today’s devices boasting the same processing power as a PC from only four to five years ago, the technology capabilities for mobile devices has increased incredibly, evident in ABI Research’s findings. According to the results, almost four out of five smartphones will feature NFC capabilities by 2014, while four out of ten will also have facial recognition abilities by the same time.



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