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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is 802.11ac/5G WiFi?

802.11ac/5G WiFi is the 5th generation of Wi-Fi -- it is the world's fastest and most reliable Wi-Fi for consumers and enterprises. Explosive growth of content consumption coupled with proliferation of wireless devices has created a need for faster and more reliable ways to access content across devices anytime, anywhere. 5G WiFi is ideal and superior to 802.11a/b/g/n based on its reliability – it delivers faster throughput, higher capacity, broader coverage and longer battery life.

  • Faster Throughput – Stream content, like NetFlix videos, to your phone, tablet or PC more quickly.

  • Higher Capacity – Connect multiple devices to the network simultaneously.

  • Broader Coverage – Extend range with fewer dead spots throughput the home.

  • Longer Battery Life – Go longer without plugging your device in.


What are the differences between 5G WiFi and 802.11n?

Technology

802.11n

5G WiFi

Data Rate

600 Mbps

3.6 Gbps

Coverage

Most Rooms

Whole Home

Band

2.4 GHz

5.15-5.90 GHz

5.15-5.9 GHz

Works with Existing infrastructure

Yes

Yes

Use Case

Data, Compressed Video

Video, Fast Synch


Will 5G WiFi be backward compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n?

Yes. Devices implementing 802.1ac will be backward compatible with legacy standards.


Will 5G WiFi make 802.11a/b/g/n obsolete?

5G WiFi will become the dominant technology in the coming years, but it will not make 802.11a/b/g/n obsolete.


What is driving the need for 5G WiFi?

Digital-content consumption is on a steep incline, with video content expected to reach approximately 90 percent of global consumer traffic, according to Cisco’s 2011 Visual Networking Index Forecast. At the same time, Internet traffic is shifting rapidly from wired to wireless networks. The increased reliance on wireless networks, the explosion of video consumption and the growing number of wireless devices being used are all putting tremendous stress on legacy 802.11a/b/g/n networks. As a result, consumers are prone to experience deteriorated performance, choppy videos and slower load times.

5G WiFi is the next generation Wi-Fi standard required for today’s mobile and video era. Based on 802.11ac, 5G WiFi is a major evolutionary step from the existing 802.11a/b/g/n networks. With new technology that allows for more reliable whole home coverage, Broadcom's 5G WiFi technology overcomes the digital content and wireless device challenge and will allow consumers to stream digital content between devices faster, and simultaneously connect more wireless devices to home and enterprise networks, while conserving battery power.


Is 5G WiFi overkill for people who don't consume high-bandwidth applications, like video?

No, because 5G WiFi isn't solely about faster speeds. It offers consumers several other benefits, including:

  • Higher Capacity – Connect multiple devices to the network simultaneously.

  • Broader Coverage – Extend range with fewer dead spots throughput the home.

  • Longer Battery Life – Go longer without plugging your device in.


How secure is 5G WiFi?

5G WiFi is very secure. It leverages the Wi-Fi Alliance's latest and greatest security standard – WPA2.


What are the differences between 5G WiFi, 802.11ad/60 GHz?
  • 5G WiFi – Lower bandwidth and greater range than 802.11ad, which makes it ideal for whole-home coverage.

  • 802.11ad/60 GHz – Higher bandwidth and shorter range compared to 5G WiFi, which makes it ideal for in-room coverage and cable replacement.


Are Wi-Fi Direct and 5G WiFi complementary?

Yes. Currently, for content like video to be shared between devices, the content must first pass through an access point. With Wi-Fi Direct, content can be shared between devices without passing through an access point. This ability is particularly important for mobile users who want to share content using 5G WiFi but don’t have access to an access point.


Are NFC and 5G WiFi complementary too?

Absolutely. Near field communications (NFC) is a short range wireless technology used to create secure wireless connections between devices. NFC is being integrated into smartphones and contactless payment terminals to enable mobile payments and will also be leveraged to simplify wireless sharing of content, like video, between smartphones, tablets and PCs. For video transfer, NFC establishes a secure wireless connection between two devices and then utilizes 5G WiFi Wi-Fi to transmit content between them.


Why is beamforming an important spec within 5G WiFi?

Beam-forming helps 5G WiFi enabled devices stream/steer content in the direction of the intended receiver (tablet, game console, etc.) – increasing reliability, extending range and providing better coverage.


Didn't 11n have issues implementing beamforming and as a result, interoperability issues? Won’t that happen again?

With 802.11n, different flavors of beam-forming were allowed. As a result, some industry players chose not to implement it, and those who did picked different methods. In the end, no one reaped the benefits. However, all 802.11ac products will use the same beam-forming method ensuring that they are fully interoperable..


How will 5G WiFi help enterprises? Why does Broadcom think enterprises should migrate from 802.11n to 5G WiFi?

Gigabit wireless will complement Gigabit Ethernet – giving employees a wired experience on a wireless network. 5G WiFi will be especially beneficial for employees who use mobile devices and high bandwidth applications such as video conferencing systems, collaboration technologies and CRM platforms.


Must enterprises have to throw away their existing investment to migrate to 5G WiFi?

Solutions that implement 5G WiFi are backwards compatible with 802.11n, so enterprises will be able to maximize their current investments and legacy systems while enjoying a wired experience on a wireless network.


Will legacy systems become obsolete if enterprises chose to migrate to 5G WiFi?

Solutions that implement 5G WiFi are backwards compatible with 802.11n, so enterprises will be able to maximize their current investments and legacy systems while enjoying a wired experience on a wireless network.


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