Ethernet no longer needed in five years time?

Just came across this news:

The technology is estimated to be ready for consumers in five years time. Sounds promising! See also here:

Well, the thing is, that ethernet cables go round corners and through walls. I suspect that they’ll be around for a good while yet. This story is reminiscent of the growing rash of stories on how wonderful 5G will be real soon now, which all seem to conveniently forget the fact that the technical specs for 5G still haven’t been agreed.

There’s many a slip 'twixt cup and lip…


That’s true, @Geoff_Coupe. Although in my case it’s a bit late: I’ve just drilled a hole in the ceiling of my old (1930s) house, to switch from wifi to ethernet cables. Not the most elegant and visually attractive solution, so for me it would have been a good solution (ah, if only we could travel time huh? ;-))

If this solution ever comes to market, then I suspect we’d still be running lots of (ethernet) cables to the beamers - and if they are mounted on the ceiling, we’ll still end up drilling lots of holes…

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Ethernet through the power plugs works pretty well and the speeds can be quite decent. Drilling is no longer necessary as long as you have an electrical socket near by.

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Use of dedicated physical connections (copper and fiber) also provide a measure of physical security versus wireless and power line solutions.

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This isn’t the first time, nor will it be the last, where infrared has been used for networks. Just as with any wireless networking it has positives and negatives.

In this case the positive is high speed, but one of the negatives is the need for direct line of sight for the infrared ‘beam’.

RF is used in wireless networks because it can pass through objects. Infrared doesn’t do this, so you either need direct line of sight or the ability to ‘bounce’ the beam. Hardly ideal for a home networking scenario.

This system may find a niche, but RF based wireless networking will be the main method for quite some time to come.