By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Korea’s SKT may become the first major carrier to launch 802.11ax-based Wi-Fi services. According to several news reports, the company is right now developing gigabit-speed 802.11ax Wi-Fi and expects to be ready to deploy the technology by next year.
SKT plans to use the new standard to its maximum potential citing all the bells of whistles of 802.11ax including a theoretical maximum speed of 4.8 Gbps. The new Wi-Fi service may in reality become one of the world’s first services delivering ‘5G network speeds,’ SKT says.
“SKT’s upcoming Wi-Fi service will be the first to reach the speed of the 5G network, which will improve convenience for mobile device users,” said Park Jin-hyo, head of network technology at SKT according to this news report.
Korean carriers SKT and KTF have during the past decade arguably become world leaders in all things wireless, drawing from a home market of 46 million mobile subscribers. South Korea offers the highest average mobile connection speed in the world at 37.5 Mbps according to this February 2017 report from OpenSignal.
New 802.11ax chipsets are already available from Broadcom, Qualcomm, and Quantenna. The Wi-Fi Alliance has as yet not begun the certification program for new standard. Read more about Broadcom’s 802.11ax launch here and Huawei’s 802.11ax access point here.