Over at Ars Technica, I write about how Wi-Fi is getting goosed for the future: It's not all about speed. That's the key message I kept hearing from people who develop and work with 802.11 networks. Rather, future flavors of Wi-Fi will combine aspects of higher throughput, better system capacity (more devices across a node), robustness (removing dead spots), and resiliency (better dealing with network congestion and interference).
It's true that the IEEE is working push 802.11 past 1 Gbps, but that will be likely via 80 MHz or even 160 MHz channels, possible only in 5 GHz and in certain circumstances. Having a greater number of streams per access point may have more impact, by not just improving potential speed, but extending range and filling in coverage holes.