Senior product line manager for Broadcom's Mobile and Wireless Group, Jackie Bao, recently said that China Mobile (NYSE: CHL; 0941.HK) is planning to open a WLAN equipment tender early next year for 802.11ac devices. China Telecom (NYSE: CHA; 0728.HK) and China Unicom (NYSE: CHU; 0762.HK; 600050.SH) will follow by also acquiring 802.11ac products.
Because of the problems with traditional 2.4G frequency interference, 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks are under great pressure due to the volume of devices compatible with the standards. The Wi-Fi Alliance, a global non-profit in charge of Wi-Fi standards, has launched a new 5G Wi-Fi technical standard called 802.11ac.
The 802.11ac standard, the core technology of which is based on 802.11a, works in the 5GHz spectrum band, a range not yet utilized by many devices. The standard is backwards compatible with older standards, with maximum theoretical transfer speed expected to reach 1.3 Gbps, 3 times that of 802.11n's highest rate, but with power consumption only 1/6 that of earlier standards.
Industry sources recently revealed that Chinese telecom equipment manufacturers ZTE (0763.HK; 000063.SZ), Huawei, and Star-net Communication are currently accelerating 802.11ac equipment research and development. The target market is mainly concentrated on enterprises and telecom operators.