Why you really need 10Gbit/s Wi-Fi

By Ambroise Popper

We all need Wi-Fi to run our everyday life. Since its first appearance, Wi-Fi has evolved nearly 1000x in its capabilities, going from the initial 802.11b that could deliver at most 11Mbps, to 802.11ax that can go above 10Gbps.

But do we really need a Wi-Fi technology delivering 10Gbps? Overkill? Absolutely not.

The evolution of Wi-Fi speed has been driven by two factors:

1. Increase in broadband access speeds

In the early internet days, when Wi-Fi first appeared, dial-up POTS was the dominant access technology. Then DSL and cable appeared, and fiber to the home started to roll-out. Today, 10G-PON or DOCSIS 3.1 are being deployed, and can achieve 10Gbps delivery into the home.

Nobody likes Wi-Fi to be the bottleneck, and at a minimum, we expect our Wi-Fi connection to be as fast as our broadband, don't we?

2. New applications pushing for better performance

Initially we all just needed internet for e-mail or web browsing from our computer. Now, the average number of Wi-Fi connected devices per household is 15*, with a mix of smartphones, PCs, consumer devices (TVs, gaming consoles) or IoT devices. As a result, there is not only a need for higher throughputs, both downlink and uplink, but also lower latency, and higher quality of service.

In today’s world with an increasing number of new applications and devices, there is a high demand on our Wi-Fi network performance.

  • 8K video: going forward, video distribution is moving to 8K, that requires up to 100 Mbps per channel. With multiple screens in each house, in-house Wi-Fi networks are expected to be able to handle such high throughputs, feeding multiple users in our homes simultaneously.
  • Cloud storage & synchronization: we all use cloud services to store our personal data (photos, videos etc…) and synchronize this data among multiple devices, which makes uplink connectivity a key factor and as a result, increasing our need for a high-performance Wi-Fi.
  • VR/AR: a good VR/AR user experience requires low-latency and high-speed wireless connectivity to the headsets. As headset capabilities increase, our home requires a stronger Wi-Fi connection to maintain the quality of our VR/AR experience.
  • Gaming: as experienced by anyone with a teenager at home, gamers need both a high-enough throughput link, and a good latency. This requires a high-performance Wi-Fi capable of handling multiple connections.
  • Virtualization: more and more applications are being virtualized, pushing the heavy processing back to a remote server (for instance 3D video editing software). This requires high-speed connectivity on both the downlink and the uplink, as well as low latency.
Quantenna has been known for its high-performance Wi-Fi but having good reviews doesn’t mean we stop at that; the praise only encourages us to be more proactive in delivering this performance. Today we are shipping our 8x8 802.11ac Wave 3 solutions, delivering up to 10Gbps inside the home, and working with carriers across the world to bring better Wi-Fi to all users.

* The average connected devices at home