When it come to speed and range, 802.11ay is a super Wi-Fi goes far beyond 802.11ad the so called mmwave.

Last year we could see many products that were based on the IEEE 802.11ad (WiGig) standard. This is only the beginning of what this technology can do to the market, but even though 802.11ay is launched with an aim to deliver much faster Wi-Fi that is also longer in range.

Here are the true and new facts on the 802.11 WLAN series!

Yet another 802.11 something to memorize, are you surprised?

Well, we hope not. 802.11ay should be considered as an enhancement of 11ad, part of the unlicensed 60 GHz millimeter wave band of spectrum. This is just a natural upgrade of a very good technology, not something groundbreaking or new really. But even so it should be worth all of ours attention because of the improvements in speed and range.

The main difference between ad and ay

In 2012 the 11ad was published which gives devices access to 60 GHz millimeter wave spectrum band. This wave spectrum band is unlicensed and relatively unclogged compared to others today and it is very commonly used for computer-to-monitor wireless links, apps (that don’t require more than 30-40 feet of unimpeded space), VR headset connectivity and multimedia streaming. Chipmakers like Intel, Peraso and Qualcomm and router vendors or similar producers like Netgear, TP-Link and Dell has seen the upsides of the 802.11ad and adopted it. A WiGig certification program is runned by the Wi-Fi Alliance for these vendors and even if the early 11ad gear is way faster than the 802.11n and 11ac, it is limited in range when it comes to penetrate solid objects. 11ad gear is the most common one on the market and it supports data transfer in rates of 4.6Gbps.

The innovative thing about 802.11ay is that it is in the backwards compatible is designed to boost speeds in a wireless technology. Initially that would amount a transmission rate, somewhere between 20 up to 30 Gbps, and a range from 33 to 100 feet. Also it has a 11ay-to-11ay device setups, but something that is unique is that it only has one channel bonding, MIMO and some other

The backwards compatible 802.11ay amendment to 802.11ad is designed to boost speeds several-fold. That initially would amount to a transmission rate of 20 to 30 Gbps and a range of 33 to 100 feet with 11ay-to-11ay device setups, but once channel bonding, MIMO and other capabilities. One could get closer to 200Gbps and, if lucky, reach distances up to 1,000 feet. At least this is what the people in the business claim.

Brad Lynch, co-founder and SVP of product development at Peraso Technologies says that 11ay “is really allowing for a wider range of products than you’d get with ad, which has one set of data rates that everyone supports… ay has a lot more parameters to play with in channel bonding, MIMO and features at the MAC level to allow a far greater range of performance and products,” . The company has already gained its WiGig-certified 11ad chipsets on the market and is now ready for taking action with their 11ay technology.

But be aware! The 11ay is not to be confused with 802.11ax, that works in the 2.5 and 5 GHz bands of spectrum.

Fields of usage for 11ay

How soon the 11ay could be used for internal purposes is still not sure. The 802.11ac, including Wave 2 products, is already very robust and works well. Peraso’s Lyn means that the 11as doesn’t fill up its expectations when it comes to range, and therefore the 11ay probably will be needed sooner than later. He says “11ay will finally be the technology that would let you snip that Ethernet cord – you no longer have to run Ethernet cables to everyone’s desk… there’s enough wireless bandwidth in ay.” Most people that we spoke to about this new technology were mostly excited about the potential it has as a fixed point-to-point or point-to-multipoint outdoor backhaul technology. This especially in light of scaled back fiber rollout plans, with providers like Google and Verizon. These vendors are facing an extraordinary costs in accordance with these implementations. Claus Hetting, of Hetting Consulting and Chairman of the Wi-Fi Now event, says “I’m more bullish on using ad & ay for backhaul (instead of mesh) in the case of campus & city networks — provided that it has a useful range”

The question remains, is it possible that 11ay could find a role in internal mesh and backbone networks? And as well as for other fields of usage, such as providing connectivity to VR headsets, handling cloud applications that require low latency and supporting server backups. “I believe that eventually, there will be enterprise applications for this – but it’s probably a few years into the future, given that we will have 802.11ax fairly soon & because there’s still a lot of 5 GHz band available for that (and ac),” Clays Hetting states.

To get rid of cables has on the consumers side been a trend over the past years. Imagine how nice it would be to get rid of all the cables. 802.11ay as an HDMI or USB replacement would be “a beautiful application,” says Bernd Jungbluth, who is senior test engineer for testing laboratory TUV Rheinland. “It could make more of the equipment intuitive, as Bluetooth and Near Field Communication have done for certain applications”, he says.

11ay will become reality

In 2015 The 802.11ay task group had its initial meeting. The idea hit the Draft 0.1 stage in January this year. It is expected to reach Draft 1.0 by July, but this is according to the IEEE task group. If all is going well we can probably expect 11y start rolling out with a year or so from July.

Founders behind 11ay

Representatives from Huawei, Intel, LG Electronics and Teradyne are leading the development of 11ay. Other companies as Ericsson, Sony, Qualcomm, Panasonic and Peraso has also made sure that they are attending important meetings.

The goal of this group is: “Task Group ay is expected to develop an amendment that defines standardized modifications to both the IEEE 802.11 physical layers (PHY) and the IEEE 802,11 medium access control layer (MAC) that enables at least one mode of operation capable of supporting a maximum throughput of at least 20 gigabits per second (measured at the MAC data service access point), while maintaining or improving the power efficiency per station.  This amendment also defines operations for license-exempt bands above 45 GHz while ensuring backward compatibility and coexistence with legacy directional multi-gigabit stations (defined by IEEE 802.11ad-2012 amendment) operating in the same band.”