Wi-Fi has taken a backseat to mobile technologies in development lately, but South Korean mobile carrier and general telecom developer, SK Telecom, has decided to buck that trend by not only announcing a new Wi-Fi technology that can achieve speeds up to 4.8Gbps, but also demonstrating that technology at its R&D center in the Bundang region of Seoul, South Korea. The new technology is based on the recently revealed 802.11x standard, and uses 4 times the bandwidth of 2011's 802.11n standard. It is slated to be available in 2.4GHz and 5GHz flavors when it's publicly revealed and made available for Wi-Fi providers and router makers to use, which should be some time early in 2018.
Research and development on the new standard is based on the work that SK Telecom did in helping to develop and hone the 802.11x standard, work that it's been involved in since 2014. The goal is to have the new Wi-Fi technology refined and reduced to a level that can be implemented in enterprise-level gear by the end of this year, with consumer products presumably to follow shortly after. According to SK Telecom, the new Wi-Fi standard works well in high user density scenarios, and should be fully compatible upon release with any devices that support 802.11x, including recent smartphones. The new Wi-Fi technology is built upon not only using more bandwidth, but also implementing new technologies on top of 802.11x, such as OFDMA, multi-user MIMO, and Dynamic Sensitivity Control. The company is reportedly planning to start putting up public access points with this new Wi-Fi standard on board in 2018.
SK Telecom's new Wi-Fi technology is far from the only thing it's developing in the wireless world. The carrier is working with Samsung, among others, to develop 5G technologies and prepare for a global rollout. So far, SK Telecom has managed to get latency down to 2 milliseconds in optimal conditions, and create an interconnection between an early 5G connection and a commercial 4G LTE connection, ensuring that users on the upcoming 5G networks that the company will have a hand in building will not be too badly interrupted if they wander out of 5G coverage and their device reverts temporarily to an LTE connection.