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Wireless Networks

IDC: WLAN Growth Slows Down

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IDC: WLAN Growth Slows Down

According to IDC the global WLAN market shows an incremental growth decrease in Q4 2014, as the combined consumer and enterprise market segments show 7% Y-o-Y growth.

The consumer WLAN market is up by 6.5% Y-o-Y in Q4 2014, a "slight" increase over the 5.6% Y-o-Y growth of Q3 2014 as the transition from the older 802.11n standard to the faster 802.11ac drives shipments across all geographies. As a result global consumer 802.11ac WLAN revenues grow by 155.6% Y-o-Y, while shipments are up by 206.6%.

EMEA shows impressive 802.11ac shipment revenue growth of 479.2% Y-o-Y.

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The Active Steering Wifi Chip

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The Active Steering Wifi Chip

Antenna maker Ethertronics launches the EtherChip EC482-- the first RF device from the company featuring Active Steering "beam steering" technology for wifi and other MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) 5GHz applications.

Beam steering involves the generation of multiple signals from a single antenna. A combination of algorithms and RF signal monitoring predicts the optimal signal for use in the current situation, with the EC482 chip acting as master controller.

As the company puts the process provides "revolutionary improvements in range, data throughput and signal quality," as well as "interference reduction, robustness in multipath environments, improved connection reliability and better spectral efficiency."

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Bluetooth Reaches Version 4.2

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Bluetooth Reaches Version 4.2

The Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) announces Bluetooth core specification version 4.2-- an update featuring improvements on security and speed, as well as an IP connectivity-enabling profile.

“Bluetooth 4.2 is all about continuing to make Bluetooth Smart the best solution to connect all the technology in your life-- from personal sensors to your connected home," the SIG says. "In addition to the improvements to the specification itself, a new profile known as IPSP enables IPv6 for Bluetooth, opening entirely new doors for device connectivity.”

On the security front Bluetooth 4.2 should make it harder for eavesdroppers (such as Apple's iBeacons) to track devices without direct user permission. It also promises to transfer data up to 2.5 times faster than previous versions, with reductions in both transmission errors and power consumption.

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Old TV Frequencies for "Super Wifi"?

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Old TV Frequencies for

Researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) suggest governments should not auction off old TV frequencies to the highest bidders-- instead they be used to create a free "super wifi" network.

Old TV frequencies allow the transmission of wifi over lower frequencies , resulting in coverage as wide as several kilometres in radius. Such a network could replace pricey mobile services of the 4G variety, leading to far wider mobile internet use.

Current wifi technology operates at high frequencies of 2GHz and above.

The KIT researchers say they also have a technique for the prevention network congestion via the reserving of a 90MHz interval in the UHF bands. Another argument in favour is that in any case the general public should be given preference to the use of electronics communications.

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ZigBee Reaches Version 3.0

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ZigBee Reaches Version 3.0

The ZigBee Alliance unifies multiple ZigBee wireless networking technologies into a single standard-- ZigBee 3.0, a means enabling communications between multiple devices in both residential and enterprise applications.

ZigBee 3.0 is IEEE 802.15.4-based, operates at 2.4GHz and uses ZigBee PRO, the group's standard for network formation and the devices attached to them. However it lacks 2 ZigBee specs, namely Smart Energy 2.0 (an IP-based profile) and RF4CE (a ZigBee version geared at remote controls).

“Underneath the covers we are accommodating these multiple applications in a single standard, so ZigBee thermostats, for example, can be used in either home or office buildings,” the Alliance says.

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