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Wi-Gig faces challenges on ecosystem, use case fronts, new report claims


WiGig technology needs to build a viable ecosystem and use cases in order to take advantage of its promise, a new report has claimed.

ABI Research said next year will be "critical" for Wi-Gig, or 802.11ad technology, as it starts to penetrate the like of smartphones, tablets and connected home devices.

It is predicting one billion chipsets will ship in 2021 with its products enabling wireless docking, multimedia streaming, data transfer and networking.

However, Andrew Zignani, Industry Analyst at ABI Research, said: “A major challenge for Wi-Gig in moving to the 60GHz band is to build up an ecosystem and solid set of use cases to drive growth.

"Wi-Gig-enabled docks can be costly, and OEMs may choose not to implement the technology if there are only a limited number of devices that will work with the accessories.”

[Read more: Wi-Fi Alliance certifies WiGig to place it within next generation HetNets]

The first Wi-Gig-enabled smartphones are expected to ship from next year and will incorporate 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 60GHz technologies. By 2021, 28 percent of smartphones will support the standard, ABI has predicted.

Zignani said Wi-Gig's ability to offload traffic from busy 2.4Ghz and 5GHz bands onto 60GHz would underpin the evolution of Wi-Fi in the coming years.

However, he noted new and faster Wi-Fi standards, such as 801.11ax, could hinder the growth of WiGig.

He added: “With continual improvements in physical connectivity through Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C, in addition to the next-generation 60GHz Wi-Fi protocol (802.11ay) on the horizon, the time is now for Wi-Gig to forge its place in the market. 2017 will be a critical year for growth and adoption of Wi-Gig across the PC, mobile, consumer electronics industry, and beyond.”