At least as far back as 2010, analyst firms and industry experts were anticipating the number of connected devices would pass 20 billion by the year 2020. As some types of connected devices become ubiquitous—and as more types of devices become connected—it remains clear: end users need fast, reliable networks and well-performing devices.
Last week, Qualcomm, www.qualcomm.com, a provider of 3G, 4G, and next-generation wireless technologies, announced its subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, will provide a new way for Wi-Fi networks to operate. Qualcomm Atheros is delivering the first Qualcomm VIVE 4-stream 802.11ac solutions with MU-MIMO (multi-user multiple input, multiple output), which the company says could triple network and device performance and efficiency.
According to Qualcomm, standard Wi-Fi serves customers sequentially. It says, “during this time, only one device is sending and receiving information, thus only a small portion of network capacity is being used.” As more devices join the network, particularly those that facilitate video streaming, the result is a sub-par experience for the end user.
On the other hand, Wi-Fi with MU-MIMO enables simultaneous transmissions, “making more efficient use of available Wi-Fi network capacity and speeding up transmissions.” Thanks to Qualcomm Atheros’ algorithm-based technology, the company says the new solutions optimize network capacity and the Wi-Fi devices themselves, so they can take advantage of the additional capacity.
The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of Wi-Fi performance for a wide range of connected devices. In fact, Qualcomm Atheros is providing a complete ecosystem of solutions for networking products, smartphones, tablets, computers, consumer electronics, and automobiles.
As the number of connected devices increases dramatically, the industry must not lose sight of the end user experience. Because good connectivity is not just about absolute network speed, companies looking for ways to optimize network and airtime efficiency are playing a key role in customer satisfaction and, therefore, industry growth.