Qualcomm has taken to its blog to announce the world's first shipment of 802.11ax carrier gateway solutions, based on its IPQ807x family of 802.11ax chipsets. In fact, BL1000HW, as the company calls it, will be delivered via Qualcomm subsidiaries – including Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., KDDI Corporation, and NEC Platforms, Ltd – via KDDI to Japan this month. That's big news for the networking industry since the chipset and standards offer massive improvements over previous platforms and standards. The platform is purpose-built, the company says, to serve the ever-growing average home network as companies continue to push the growth of IoT and associated data-intensive applications. Most notably, the platform is faster, more reliable, and more secure.
To start with, throughput on the NEC Platforms-built solution is increased by as much as four times. That means that more data can flow over a network and between connected devices and applications at a much higher rate. The 14 nanometer 802.11ax Wi-Fi SoC itself can support data rates of up to 10 Gbps over wide area networks and peak physical layer rates over Wi-Fi of up to 6.5 Gbps. That's as compared to current standards which peak out at around 1 Gbps. Specifically, Qualcomm says its IPQ8072 supports multiple-user MIMO, which allows more than one users to access an access point simultaneously with all of the benefits that MIMO has to offer. Moreover, the platform pushes security forward to WPA3 encryption versus the current WPA2 standard used by most solutions today. That means a more robust encryption of user passwords and stronger network privacy for Wi-Fi networks. The increases in both speed and efficiency should also translate to a more reliable network connection, the company says.
That's all good news for users on those networks since it will allow other technologies to advance as well. In particular, Qualcomm points to the growing demand for higher-resolution streaming over wireless connections as a primary driver for the release of its new solution. The streaming video industry is rapidly moving toward the implementation of 4K, 8K, and VR content and network providers need a solution to meet the high-bandwidth requirements associated with those. The shipment and the announcement are intended to show the viability of the technology in real-world circumstances, as the company moves to make the platform available in both carrier gateways and consumer-side routers.