Light Reading

Certification Fallout

Nearpoints
Nearpoints
Nearpoints
9/5/2006
50%
50%

12:20 PM -- The Wi-Fi Alliance ’s controversial decision to produce an interoperability spec based on the next draft of 802.11n is exactly what they should be doing. (See WiFi's High-Speed Compromise.) I’ve been hearing and reading about a fundamental criticism that seems justified at first glance -- that the Alliance is working around the standards process that it was initially formed to augment. But the Wi-Fi Alliance isn’t an arm of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) , and in reality there is no necessary relationship between the two.

The Alliance is a trade association. By definition, trade associations exist to look out for the common interests of their members, who usually are otherwise competitors. The core missions of a trade association are typically the marketing and promotion of a concept or technology, lobbying to improve the regulatory environment, and specifying interoperability where appropriate. That’s exactly what the Alliance does, and they have done an absolutely stellar job of it. The Wi-Fi Alliance is in fact a textbook example of what a trade association should be.

The Alliance was, in fact, formed to capitalize on the lack of an interoperability specification regarding 802.11. The IEEE typically doesn’t get involved in such matters and leaves the definition of interoperability to third parties -- like trade associations. But note that the Wi-Fi Alliance has no real relationship to the IEEE, and can specify anything it wants. The WiFi Spec (what one meets to be able to put the sticker on a product’s box) is actually a subset of 802.11; it’s not a compliance, conformance, or compatibility verification of any form regarding 802.11.

As it turns out, many of the leading members of the Alliance got themselves into a serious pickle by butchering the announcement of “draft n,” again, whatever that means. The products are generally not interoperable between vendors, not as good as the previous generation of MIMO-based WLAN products in terms of performance, and, perhaps most importantly with respect to our discussion here, not WiFi approved. The Alliance was in fact in danger of losing control of the market if they did not act to put in place an interim spec, especially in light of the serious delays in the formal development of 802.11n.

I’d urge the Alliance, however, not to call whatever it is they produce “draft n” or anything else with a standalone “n” in the name. They should not get bogged down in issues like upgradeability. Call it “super-duper better than .11g,” or some such, but leave out any reference to “n.” And here’s hoping the vendors of “draft n” will cool their marketing jets a little as well.

— Craig Mathias is Principal Analyst at the Farpoint Group , an advisory firm specializing in wireless communications and mobile computing. Special to Unstrung

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
lrmobile_rusty
50%
50%
lrmobile_rusty,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 3:42:08 AM
re: Certification Fallout
As you correctly point out, the Wi-Fi Alliance is designed to help vendors sell products and help consumers understand which products work with others. Leaving out "N" would be irresponsible on both counts. There is already great awareness about the "N" standard and "N" products offering higher speeds, so at this point "N" has to be included in the name of the certification.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Nearpoints
And change its name, too
A great truth, again
And you thought it wouldn't fit
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.