Charter is introducing a next-generation Spectrum Wi-Fi router that features 802.11ax technology. The company says it is the first broadband provider to introduce the technology. The Charter Spectrum 802.11ax router is expected to support multi-gigabit speeds and, according to a company video, is expected to be available in 2019.
“Our new Spectrum Wi-Fi router with 802.11ax is the most advanced wireless router in the world and firmly positions Charter as the leader in advanced wireless solutions,” Jim Blackley, Charter’s Executive Vice President of Engineering and Information Technology, said in a press release. “With multi-gigabit throughput, 802.11ax unleashes the full potential of Charter’s fiber-rich network, creating a better in-home and entertainment experience and further enabling next generation technologies such as virtual reality, augmented reality, and advanced IoT-enabled applications.”
Charter Spectrum 802.11ax Router
802.11ax was designed for use in congested areas. It supports a broader coverage area and includes time scheduling features that make Wi-Fi similar to cellular technologies in efficiency and application support, according to Charter. The Charter router will be faster, support more devices concurrently, provide longer battery life for those devices and improve home coverage, the company said.
The Charter video about the router shows it being used in combination with a smartphone app to feed a pet remotely, to have a refrigerator automatically place an order to restock itself and other IoT capabilities.
The company made two other announcements. It said that next year it will introduce a router capable of utilizing licensed spectrum and supporting several IoT radio technologies. This an effort to “future proof” the routers and enabling them to take advantage of developments in both licensed and unlicensed spectrum.
Finally, the company said that it is simplifying the setup and configuration of residential wireless environments. Early next year, Spectrum Wi-Fi routers will have access to Wi-Fi Radio Resource Management (RRM) capabilities that will use a cloud-based data analytics engine to optimize the in-home environment.
The curtain is lifting on 802.11ax, which will become available later this year. In mid-July, GlobalData said that the new technology may prove to be an important element in carriers’ 5G strategies and arsenals. It is expected that 802.11ax will improve reliability, security and make it easier for Wi-Fi and cellular networks to interoperate.
The transition from 802.11ac to 802.11ax will be gradual as the cost curve of the newer technology starts to point downward, GlobalData said.