An ax(e) is better than an ac(e): Huawei demonstrates a faster WiFi

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Networking companies may well have an ace up their sleeves, but telecommunications maker Huawei seems to have an axe in its pocket, cutting 802.11ac to shreds with a new WiFi technology.

While consumers are just now being switched on to the importance of better wireless networking technologies, thanks to our heavier reliance on smartphones, tablets, computers, and the new wave of smart devices, it appears what we know about the best in wireless networking is about to get a rethinking.

For the past two years, 802.11ac has been the way forward, delivering as much as 1.3Gbps speeds from wireless networking, roughly translating to around 160 megabytes per second, making it suitable for video transfers across a network.

It’s not enough to have the new router, mind you, as your device needs to support the 802.11ac standard to make use of these speeds. Fortunately, the 802.11ac standard is supported by numerous smartphones and tablets, with many computers also jumping onto the bandwagon and including the 802.11ac technology, providing faster speeds and longer reaching wireless networking.

But it appears that 802.11ac has a new competitor, and it’s coming, even if it probably won’t be here for another three or four years.

Announced by Huawei this week, a new standard will be here by 2018 called 802.11ax, providing as much as 10Gbps speeds, delivering unprecedented wireless networking speeds.

That’s around seven times the top speed offered by 802.11ac networks at home, with as much as one gigabyte of data able to be transferred with this technology in one second. A second. A single second per gigabyte.

As data gets larger with bigger images, streaming and downloadable movies, and lossless audio, these faster networking speeds will be necessary for home and offices, but also public spaces, such as malls, airports, and offices, which are areas Huawei anticipates will need these speeds.

Availability for this next-gen technology isn’t set in stone — it’s in a prototype phase, after all — but Huawei expects we’ll start to see traces of it from 2018, so don’t throw out that 802.11ac router just yet.