Some WiFi vendors (read my previous story on this) are promoting 802.11n WiFi gear, which is faster than current WiFi specifications. The problem is that the WiFi Alliance which makes sure that WiFi gear is compatible has not yet agreed upon standards for WiFi N.
What does this mean for you?
Some vendors are claiming that when the new WiFi standard is certified their products can easily be upgraded with a software patch to the new standard. This is important so that you can ensure that future WiFi N products you buy are compatible.
However, the Wall Street Journal (30 August 2007) reports that this might not be the case. They write But competitor Airgo Networks Inc which sells souped up Wi-Fi technology that predates the Draft N products, believes that changes to the draft will require updated chips for those devices. “I would emphatically disagree that they can be software-upgraded,” said Dave Borison, an Airgo director of product marketing.
My advice to you. Wait until the technology is a standard. If you just MUST have higher speeds now, plunk down a few hundred for a WiFi adapter and router or access point. But know that once the standard is certified the certified products might not work with it.
DO NOT, invest a lot of money, however, to outfit your entire office with an “un-certified” standard.
EE Times writes Broadcom has welcomed the decision taken by the Wi-Fi Alliance to speed up the testing process for 802.11n specification equipment despite the fact that the high data-rate wireless technology is still undergoing standardization within the IEEE.
The timetable, a break from usual practice, was announced by the Alliance Tuesday (Aug 29) because of the expected delays in the IEEE’s ratification process.
Certification is expected to start in March 2007 once the draft standard has been approved, and the process will be updated once the full standard has been ratified within the IEEE’s delayed procedure.
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