Feeds

Wi-Fi Alliance to certify 802.11n ahead of IEEE standard

Compatible. Maybe.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

The Wi-Fi Alliance is to start certifying 802.11n products in March 2007, despite the fact the standard won't be completed until the following year, according to CNet.

Devices will be tested for conformance to the draft standard, and for interoperability, which have been the major concerns of buyers to date. Anyone buying 802.11n kit today is wise to stick to one manufacturer, or risk compatibility problems, and this has prevented large scale uptake of the technology.

Apparently, the Wi-Fi Alliance is "hoping" that equipment certified to the draft standard will be compatible with equipment conforming to the final version, though it offers no guarantee, and that might not be enough for corporate buyers.

Of course, if pre-standard but certified equipment becomes popular enough, the final standard will have to be compatible or risk becoming sidelined.

But once equipment has the Wi-Fi Alliance logo on it, is tested for interoperability, and starts selling, what will be the point of the IEEE continuing to debate the details of a standard which cannot be significantly changed and which no one cares about anymore?

Without significant enhancements, which will be difficult if compatibility is to be preserved, there will be little motivation for anyone to adopt the "proper" version of the standard.

The way the IEEE debates and establishes standards has already come under fire for being too bureaucratic and slow for today's market-driven industry, and the way in which it was sidelined in the Ultra Wideband debate amply demonstrated that.

If the Wi-Fi Alliance is prepared to sidestep the formal approval process, the real question becomes what future has the IEEE in the wireless industry? ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
Seagate chances ARM with NAS boxes for the SOHO crowd
There's an Atom-powered offering, too
Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer
E7-8895 v2 chips are best of the bunch, and with firmware-unlocked speed control
Gartner: To the right, to the right – biz sync firms who've won in a box to the right...
Magic quadrant: Top marks for, er, completeness of vision, EMC
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.