A breakthrough technology from a Silicon Valley wi-fi developer to be announced on Monday will take on the problem of interference in an increasingly wireless world that is holding up next-generation advances such as streaming video in the home.
Wi-fi is becoming a victim of its own success and Ruckus Wireless, a technology start-up previously known as Video54, and others like it are pushing advances that tackle the twin problems of overlapping signals as wi-fi networks proliferate and the demands of consumers beginning to beam data-intensive video around the house.
Ruckus will also announce a $9m capital raising and PCCW, Hong Kong's telecoms provider, as a large customer.
Last week, Airgo, a Silicon Valley rival, announced a wireless technology that would offer speeds faster than wired network connections, promising data rates of up to 240 megabits per second.
“I think we're going to see more products like these,” says Julie Ask, senior analyst at Jupiter Research.
“There are now so many wi-fi networks, the issues of interference and range are becoming more prevalent, and as people put music and video and voice on these services, they are much more demanding.”
It is becoming a quality of service issue, she says. “We can't just keep turning up the ‘volume' I can see a dozen wi-fi networks in my flat.”
Only 7 per cent of users were streaming video from personal computers to television over their wireless home networks a year ago, according to a Jupiter survey, but the research firm expects the moving of content out of the home office to the living room to grow significantly over the next five years.
Airgo's Multiple In Multiple Out (Mimo) technology, whose multiple aerials make a virtue of interference, has appeared in equipment made by Linksys, Netgear, Belkin and others and its new technology will debut in the fourth quarter, it said.
Ruckus's technology is also Mimo based but focuses on eliminating the fluctuations in data rates that disrupt video streaming. Netgear has incorporated its product in a new range of wireless units.
Ruckus is targeting telecoms providers in Asia and Europe that are trying to introduce television over their networks, offering them a cheap means of distribution around the home that should attract consumers to their services.