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Wifi group cheers draft 802.11n certification

The Wi-Fi Alliance said Thursday that its 802.11n Draft 2.0 certification program is on track for a late June launch.

Wi-Fi Alliance certification aims to ease the purchase process by delivering 802.11n draft 2.0 products that have been tested for industry wide interoperability, the latest security protection and backward compatibility with previous generations of wifi gear.

The Alliance unveiled an eye catching consumer logo to go on badged 802.11n Draft 2.0 products and announced the products and reference designs that will comprise its test bed for interoperability certification.

Atheros, Broadcom, Cisco, Intel, Marvell, Ralink and WildPackets are all named in the interoperability document.

802.11n promises to deliver up to five times the throughput and up to twice the range of previous-generation wifi gear, making it an attractive option for streaming high definition video, online gaming with multiple users on a single network and speedy file transfer of photos, music, and more.

Wi-Fi Alliance managing director Frank Hanzlik, said, “This milestone means that consumers and business users alike can feel confident that the 802.11n products they buy will deliver the user experience they require.”

Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said the arrival of certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products would, “end the practice of uncertain claims of wifi draft compliance by independent vendors.

“Consumers can now purchase products with improved performance and be assured of interoperability.”

Gartner, like many analysts, has been critical of the vendor push to get 802.11n compliant kit onto the shelves. Last year, the analyst house said that 802.11n compliant kit should not replace 802.11a/b/g equipment, adding that the latter would “be good for at least four more years.”

The Wi-Fi Alliance said that 802.11n technology holds wide consumer appeal. Recent research from the organisation found that 78 per cent of US wifi users are interested in upgrading their systems in order to gain improved range and/or throughput. Moreover, nearly 70 per cent of those polled said that a faster wifi connection would prompt them to use multimedia applications such as video and gaming more frequently.


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