Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/10/29/belkin_802_11n/
Belkin out on a limb with 802.11n?
Pre-N kit? Naughty, naughty
What exactly provoked the WiFi Alliance to threaten to withdraw its imprimatur from anybody who started announcing 802.11n technology? An obvious suspect has to be whoever it is who is offering "pre-N" technology, eh, Belkin?
Well, it aint them. The proof? They say so.
So we asked Belkin. After all, all the things they say about Wireless Pre-N products are hauntingly similar in their spec to what we would expect next year from 802.11n.
"Belkin's new Pre-N products allow you to share your broadband Internet connection farther and faster than ever. They deliver up to 800% the wireless coverage and 600% the wireless speed of 802.11g networking devices - with exceptional data transfer results." And the pre-N router too...
We asked, why - so shortly after they announced these Wireless Pre-N products, did the WiFi Alliance threaten excommunication for anybody who jumped the gun on 802.11n? Was it possible that the Alliance disapproved?
No. Not at all. "Belkin fully supports the WiFi Alliance initiatives," came the response. "Our Wireless Pre-N products are WiFi certified under IEEE 802.11b & 802.11g standards and are fully interoperable with other IEEE compliant 802.11b and 802.11g products."
The explanation continues: "Belkin Pre-N products are not 802.11n certified and are not compatible with 802.11n." Well, yes; that sort of goes without saying, because there is no 802.11n standard yet, so compatibility would be a neat trick. But that being the case, why call it Pre-N?
"The Pre-N name is not intended to imply 802.11n standard interoperability. Rather, it represents products that offer consumers dramatically improved benefits over the latest wireless technology. Those benefits include 800% wider coverage, 600% faster speeds than 802.11g, and the ability to enhance the performance of any existing 802.11b and g standard based devices."
The choice of the letter "n" was, then, just one of those odd coincidences, like the short time gap between the Pre-N announcement and the Alliance press release.
"Let me know if you have questions," concluded the official spokesman. No, thank you: we think that's clear enough for anybody.
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