Feeds

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

Compatible. Maybe.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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
The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?
Sysadmins, you're either fighting fires or seen as incompetents now
Microsoft: Azure isn't ready for biz-critical apps … yet
Microsoft will move its own IT to the cloud to avoid $200m server bill
Oracle reveals 32-core, 10 BEEELLION-transistor SPARC M7
New chip scales to 1024 cores, 8192 threads 64 TB RAM, at speeds over 3.6GHz
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Object storage bods Exablox: RAID is dead, baby. RAID is dead
Bring your own disks to its object appliances
Nimble's latest mutants GORGE themselves on unlucky forerunners
Crossing Sandy Bridges without stopping for breath
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?