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Wi-Fi Alliance acts on dodgy wireless kit

Universal connection, or else

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The Wi-Fi Alliance is going to work harder to ensure that wireless devices work properly with each other. The action is a belated response to a row late last year between Atheros and Broadcom.

Broadcom complained that some Atheros kit interferred with its own equipment causing data rates to slow even on networks operating on a different wireless channel.

The Wi-Fi Alliance said that products using vendor-specific high speed options or product extenstions will have to ensure they do not interfere with other products or they could lose their "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED" status and logo. The ruling will effect manufacturers whose kit goes beyond IEEE 802.11 standards.

Frank Hanzlik, managing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance, said: "If a product extension significantly impacts the ability of other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment to operate as intended, the Alliance may withhold or revoke certification. We have taken this important step due to the Wi-Fi Alliance’s continued commitment to a positive consumer experience."

Alan Smith, sales manager for specialist reseller KMH Wireless, welcomed the news: "Technology in this area moves so fast that you need standards to keep it under control or you do damage to the ethos of wireless networking and damage the whole market." Smith said customers wanted universal connection especially when using the network for voice calls. ®

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