The Wi-Fi and Wireless Gigabit Alliances have announced plans to merge.
The Wi-Fi Alliance and Wireless Gigabit (WiGig) Alliance have agreed to move WiGig activity under the Wi-Fi Alliance’s umbrella. The two organizations have been working together for the past two years to ensure interoperability of 60 GHz WiGig technology with lower frequency Wi-Fi standards.
The merge also means that the Wi-Fi Alliance, which has had a lot of practice designing and implementing certification programs, will be guiding WiGig certification program development. The announcement said that the first Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification program for WiGig products is targeted to launch late this year (2013).
60 GHz technology has had a difficult time getting traction. Its limited range and requirement of yet another set of radios and antennas in devices has been a big hurdle. And the usual battles with competing technology (WirelessHD, in this case) didn’t help either.
WiGig’s survival plan of cozying up to the Wi-Fi alliance has been in place since mid-2010. So yesterday’s announcement basically ends the living-together phase and officially weds the duo.
Just as the more successful acceptance of higher-bandwidth cellular-based data networks killed off WiMax, there’s a good possibility that 802.11ac may kill off its higher-frequency 802.11ad-based competition. Either way, the Wi-Fi Alliance will continue to call the shots in the wireless networking world.