IEEE 802.11 Technologies Advances: Technologies and Markets Development

PracTel, Date of Publication: Mar 25, 2013

This report addresses a wide spectrum of Wi-Fi technologies, starting from legacy systems and showing unlimited potentials of IEEE 802.11; the standard is extended in the frequency and time domains to reveal such potentials.

The report shows that the work to enhance the Wi-Fi technology has never stopped. In particular, it addresses such recent developments:

  • 1. 802.11n. The technology already produced a multi-billion market, improving such communications characteristics as the rate of transmission, coverage and other. It significantly increased the spectrum of Wi-Fi applications.
  • 2. 60 GHz Wi-Fi. This is the Wi-Fi industry response on the users' new requirements to support gigabits per second rates of transmission over shorter ranges for such applications as a home/office distribution of HDVD and similar bandwidth-hunger applications.
  • 3. White Spaces Wi-Fi (super Wi-Fi). This technology allows utilizing the property of sub-gigahertz transmission together with Wi-Fi advances.
  • 4. Low-consumption Wi-Fi. Until recently, WLAN technologies could not compete with ZigBee, UWB and other low-consumption technologies. The creation of low-consumption Wi-Fi chips opened the doors for such applications as WSN in healthcare, manufacturing, building automation and many others.
  • 5. sub -6 GHz Wi-Fi. This development allows gigabit per second speed and improves characteristics of IEEE 802.11n technology in the wide spectrum characteristics.
  • 6. sub-1 GHz Wi-Fi (excluding White Spaces).

The report addresses technological, standardization and marketing features of these recent additions to the 802.11 family; it also includes a survey of vendors and related products.

Research Methodology

Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various Web sites was studied and analyzed. Evaluation of publicly available marketing and technical publications was conducted. Telephone conversations and interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts and executives. In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including industry and trade publications, conferences and seminars.

The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the information content.

Target Audience

This report is important to a wide audience of researches, technical and sales staff involved in the developing of WLANs and based on them network infrastructure. It is recommended for both service providers and vendors that are working with related technologies. The report also helps to understand issues associated with relationship between discussed systems and other technologies.


 1.0. Introduction

    1.1. General
        1.1.1. Elements
    1.2. Legacy Wi-Fi
        1.2.1. 802.11b
   Physical Layer
   MAC Layer
        1.2.2. Family
    1.3. Scope
    1.4. Details
    1.5. Research Methodology
    1.6. Target Audience

2.0. IEEE 802.11n

    2.1. 802.11n Status
        2.1.1. Environment
        2.1.2. Draft v. 1.0
        2.1.3. Draft v. 2.0
        2.1.4. Further Developments and IEEE Approval
    2.2. Wi-Fi Alliance
    2.3. 802.11n Technology Specifics
        2.3.1. Advances
   Spatial Division Multiplexing
   Channel Bonding
   Packet Aggregation
    2.3.2. PHY and MAC
    2.4. Major Features: Summary
        2.4.1. Specifics
        2.4.2. Channel Bandwidth
        2.4.3. Backward Compatibility
        2.4.4. Adaptation
        2.4.5. Security
        2.4.6. Enhancements
    2.5. Benefits and Applications
        2.5.1. Benefits
        2.5.2. Applications
    2.6. Market
        2.6.1. Drivers
        2.6.2. Market Forecast
   Model Assumptions
    2.7. Industry
        Aerohive (APs)
        Aruba (APs)
        Atheros-Qualcomm (Chipsets, WUSB)
        Buffalo (Router, AP)
        Belkin (Routers, Adaptors, WUBS)
        Broadcom (Chipsets, WUSB)
        Cisco (AP)
        Celeno (HDVD)
        D-Link (Routers, WUSB)
        Edimax (Router, WUSB Adapter)
        Extreme (AP)
        Marvell (Chipsets)
        Meru (Family of Products, HDVD)
        Motorola Solution (Tools, AP)
        NEC (Router)
        Netgear (Router, AP, HD streaming)
        Redpine Signals (Chipsets)
        Ruckus (AP, Multimedia)
        Quantenna (chipsets)
        TrendNet (Routers, AP, WUSB)
        ZyXel (AP, Router, WUSB)

3.0. 60 GHz Wi-Fi

    3.1. Goal
    3.2. General
    3.3. 60 GHz Band Spectrum Specifics
        3.3.1. Frequencies Allocation
        3.3.2. Oxygen Absorption
    3.4. Antenna
    3.5. Radiation Limiting at 60 GHz
    3.6. Combined Effect
    3.7. Progress in the Chip Technology
        3.7.1. Challenges and Efforts
        3.7.2. Modulation
        3.7.3. Specifics
   Indoor Behavior
    3.8. Summary
    3.9. Prospectus: 60 GHz WLAN
        3.9.1. Benefits and Issues
        3.9.2. WiGig Alliance
        3.9.3. IEEE 802.11ad - 60 GHz Wi-Fi
    3.10. Industry
        Beam Networks
    3.11. Potential Market
        3.11.1. Market Drivers
        3.11.2. Usage Models
        3.11.3. Preliminary Market Estimate

4.0. Wi-Fi and White Spaces (white-fi)

    4.1. Digital Revolution
    4.2. Factors
    4.3. FCC Activity
        4.3.1. Super Wi-Fi Hot Spots
        4.3.2. Role of Database
        4.3.3. TVBD - Details
        4.3.4. First Network
        4.3.5. Use
    4.4. Europe: Ofcom and ECC
        4.4.1. Comparison
    4.5. Ecosystem
    4.6. Industry Activity
        4.6.1. Microsoft
        4.6.2. Utility
    4.7. IEEE Standards
        4.7.1. IEEE 802.16h
        4.7.2. IEEE 802.11af
   General: Expectations - Wi-Fi on Steroids
        4.7.3. IEEE 1900.4
        4.7.4. IEEE 802.22
   Physical Layer - Major Characteristics
   Cognitive Functions
   IEEE 802.22.1 and IEEE 802.22.2
   IEEE 802.22a and IEEE 802.22b
   802.22 and Smart Grid Application
        4.7.5. IEEE 802.19
    4.8. ECMA Activity
        4.8.1. Beginning
        4.8.2. Details
    4.9. Cognitive Networking Alliance (CogNeA) Standard
    4.10. IETF
    4.11. Market
    4.12. Industry
        Carlson Wireless
        KTS Wireless
        Metric Systems
        Spectrum Bridge

5.0. Low-power Consumption Wi-Fi

    5.1. General
        5.1.1. Marketing Data
    5.2. Industry
        G2 Microsystems (Acquired by Roving Networks in 2010)
        Redpine Signals
        RF Monolithics
        Roving Networks
        ZeroG (Microchip)

6.0. IEEE 802.11ac

    6.1. General
    6.2. Major Features
    6.3. Major Benefits
    6.4. Usage Models
    6.5. Industry
        Redpine Signals

7.0. IEEE 802.11ah

    7.1. Goal
    7.2. Status
    7.3. Compatibility
    7.4. Details

8.0. Conclusions

List of Figures:

    Figure 1: OSI and 802.11
    Figure 2: 802.11n MAC
    Figure 3: 802.11 Protocol Family MAC Frame Structure
    Figure 4: TAM: Global Sales - Wi-Fi Chipsets ($B)
    Figure 5: TAM: Global Sales - Wi-Fi Chipsets (Bill. Units)
    Figure 6: TAM: Global Sales - 802.11n Chipsets ($B)
    Figure 7: TAM: Global Sales - 802.11n Chipsets (Bill. Units)
    Figure 8: 802.11n Market Geography
    Figure 9: 60 GHz Channels
    Figure 10: 60 GHz Frequencies Plan
    Figure 11: Spectrum Details
    Figure 12: Signal Attenuation in 60 GHz Band
    Figure 13: Absorption Details
    Figure 14: Bands Features Comparison
    Figure 15: 802.11ad MAC
    Figure 16: Summary
    Figure 17: TAM: Tri-band Wi-Fi Chipsets Sales - Global (Bil. Units)
    Figure 18: TAM: Global Sales Tri-band Wi-Fi Chipsets ($B)
    Figure 19: TVWS Channels
    Figure 20: Architecture
    Figure 21: TVWS Market Structure
    Figure 22: PM: Low Power Consumption Wi-Fi Chipsets Sales - Global ($B)
    Figure 23: Channel Assignment

List of Tables:

    Table 1: 802.11b Major Characteristics
    Table 2: 802.11b Channels (GHz)
    Table 3: 802.11a Modulation
    Table 4: 802.11g Characteristics
    Table 5: 802.11 Standards Characteristics - Draft 1.0
    Table 6: 802.11n PHY
    Table 7: Comparison: 802.11 Family Members Transfer Rates
    Table 8: 802.11n Enhancements
    Table 9: 802.11n Advantages
    Table 10: 60 GHz Short-reach Radio Standardization
    Table 11: Directivity
    Table 12: 60 GHz Links Characteristics
    Table 13: 802.11ad Major Features
    Table 14: 60 GHz Wi-Fi Usage Models
    Table 15: TV Channels
    Table 16: Differences and Similarities
    Table 17: IEEE WS-related Standards
    Table 18: Major Characteristics: IEEE 802.22
    Table 19: IETF Activity
    Table 20: Functionalities
    Table 21: Usage Models


Date of Publication:
Mar 25, 2013
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