Fast, extremely fast
As always when a new standard is introduced, we have to wait for clients that can utilize it. Unfortunately there are not a lot that can for 802.11ad. For now, Intel and Qualcomm are the only ones that have adapters for it, although we have not seen these in products that entered our test lab. Bear in mind that there are also devices that might seem capable of handling 802.11ad, but in practice they are not. For example, the HP Elite X2 1012 has an adapter that can handle WiGig, but it cannot be connected with the Talon AD7200.
At the moment you as end user cannot really use 802.11ad, but it does give a good impression of how it will look in a few years, provided that there are enough clients. However, the lack of clients makes it difficult to test 802.11ad properly. For this reason, TP-Link sent us a second Talon AD7200 and supplied us with firmware that allowed us to put the device in bridge-mode. This way we can use the second Talon as an adapter for a wire-connected laptop.
From our tests one thing is certain: 802.11ad allows for extremely fast throughput speeds. Even at 10 meter (line-of-sight) we are at the limits of the gigabit connectors on both the sender and receiver. We even dare to say that with a faster physical connections speeds of over 1 Gbps are possible. Below you can see a screenshot we made of one of the tests.
Bear in mind that we are working with a signal that has a frequency of 60 GHz. This means that the signal weakens relatively quickly. Where 5 GHz can still be used in the next room in most cases, this is definitely not the case for 60 GHz. We would not be surprised if this standard will be primarily used in business environments that have a wired backbone. In combination with wifi-meshing is also an obvious option. If you consider that behind the scenes there are people working on 802.11ax, the coming years will be very interesting in wifi-country. At least it promises to be more exciting than the last couple of years.