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Users warned over Wi-Fi standard hold-up

Ratification of the higher-speed IEEE 802.11n Wi-Fi standard has been delayed after disagreements between hardware suppliers.

At a vote of the working group responsible for finalising the standard, less than half supported the draft standard on the table.

It is now likely that a ratified standard will not be available until some time next year, despite the flooding of the market with Wi-Fi devices claiming to be 802.11n-compliant.

One sticking point in approving the new standard was a perceived lack of compatibility with legacy Wi-Fi hardware.

Cisco’s Linksys division, D-Link and Buffalo Technology are all already selling kit said to be 802.11n-compliant, but analysts warned companies to wait for kit that complied with the final approved standard.

If they do not, users risk deploying Wi-Fi networks that don’t fully work with existing ones.


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