The IEEE standards committee is expected to adopt a first draft of the 802.11n specification this week. The 802.11n specification is designed to improve the bandwidth of wireless networks, supporting at least 100mbps, according to the IEEE.
The main applications that would benefit are high-quality video and video conferencing, said Aditya Kaul, senior analyst at Juniper Research. "It could mean businesses can support more VoIP connections," she said.
This will become important as more mobile devices support both cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Ethernet on desktop already delivers 100mbps. Kaul suggested wireless Lans based on 802.11n could completely replace wired Ethernet links to desktop PCs. "There will be no need for wired Ethernet," he said.
Another application could be city-wide and campus networks, which Kaul said would benefit from the higher bandwidth.
Moving beyond the first draft of the proposal, the next milestone for the industry will be the launch of Wi-Fi Alliance interoperability certification of IEEE 802.11n-based products. This is timetabled by the Wi-Fi Alliance for early 2007.