Next generation Wi-Fi standards take shape

Industry body the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the first phase of plans to certify the next generation of Wi-Fi products.

Industry body the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced the first phase of plans to certify the next generation of Wi-Fi products.

The alliance is aiming to certify the interoperability of products that include “baseline features” from the 802.11n standard now under development by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in the first half of next year. The 802.11n specification is designed to improve the bandwidth of wireless networks, supporting at least 100mbps.

A second phase of certification would require full alignment with the standard when it has been finalised and ratified. The IEEE’s latest timeline estimates ratification of the new standard by the first quarter of 2008.

But the alliance has moved to introduce an early phase of certification because Wi-Fi products with features meeting the draft specification are already on the market, with tens of millions of devices expected to shop next year.

Wi-Fi Alliance managing director Frank Hanzlik said, “This two-phase approach balances our longstanding commitment to standards-based technology with the current market need for product interoperability certification.

“While we are committed to supporting a full 802.11n standard when it is available, pre-standard products are reaching a level of maturity and there is enough market uptake that a certification programme makes sense for the industry.”


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