vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

802.11n Wi-Fi to be standardised... at last

by Parm Mann on 24 July 2009, 11:45

Tags: IEEE

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qas7i

Add to My Vault: x

Tony Smith of The Register reports:

It's only taken the best part of decade, but 802.11n Wi-Fi looks finally like becoming a standard this coming September.

Official standard, that is. While IEEE Task Group n - aka TGn - members have been arguing and arguing over the minutiae of the fast wireless networking specifications, manufacturers have been offering 802.11n products for some time.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, the organisation behind the Wi-Fi brand, has been certifying those products as interoperable with each other for almost as long.

So 802.11n is a standard and the IEEE is really only just catching up with the rest of the planet.

Exploratory work on the successor to 802.11a, b and g began in 2002. The IEEE's formal effort to knock these early suggestions into shape as a publishable specification was founded on 11 September 2003.

In the intervening years, we've seen the spec develop into an almost-complete 'draft' standard... only to become mired in arguments over the details. In March 2007, Draft 2.0 followed Draft 1.0, bringing with it a spec sufficiently stable for vendors to use to develop and test products. At the time, chip and device makers were happy enough to proceed on the assumption that support for the final, standard version of the specification would require just a firmware tweak.

Since then the TGn has published seven more draft versions of the specification. Draft 8.0 was approved in March 2009, but even that wasn't quite right for some participants, and Draft 9.0 was proposed to (hopefully) accommodate the remaining differences.

Well, all but those that prompted the rush of Drafts seen since then: Draft 9.0 on 4 April, Draft 10.0 on 15 May, Draft 11.0 on 5 June and a revised Draft 11.0 on 23 June.

According to insiders, this latest iteration has hit the spot for all, allowing the TGn to submit it to the IEEE for formal ratification as 802.11n.

This month, it will be submitted to the IEEE's 802.11 Working Group, which is expected to approve its ratification. That will take place in September if the organisation's bureaucrats are willing.

Then they can do it all over again, this time with the 802.11ad, designed to deliver even higher, Gigabit speeds in the 60GHz band...



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
About time. Must be tiring work trying to get everyone to agree on something.
Good to know that it's finally being ratified, when would be the best time to upgrade to n then?
vinnyT
About time. Must be tiring work trying to get everyone to agree on something.

yeah, just look at the fun that occurred when HD+DVD and Blue-ray launched :)

I've had no issues with my 802.11n hardware functioning either at 802.11n and 802.11g with a wide range of devices from a wide range of manufacturers and it's been some of the easiest to set up as well :)
i have a netgear 802.11n compatible router but its about a year old.. not sure how that will impact its compatability with other ‘n’ devices but all our household wireless devices are g and i tend to stick to wired most of the time so not of great impact to me at the moment anyway.

Good to hear they are finally moving on though.
Lee @ SCAN;1740444
I've had no issues with my 802.11n hardware functioning either at 802.11n and 802.11g with a wide range of devices from a wide range of manufacturers and it's been some of the easiest to set up as well :)

I recently picked up a 802.11n Airport Extreme thing by Apple and it has been running great. If you've ever configured any of the Airport line-up before, setting it up is a breeze.

So much so, when I was in Singapore (that's where I got it) on testing it out in the hotel room, I was able to quickly set it up to route between the hotel (WAN) supply of net-juice and provide IPs via DHCP to any connecting Wifi clients. Speeds were decent and so far, I'm quite happy with 802.11n (draft).

Should be interesting to see what impact the final firmware tweaks would have on performance.