Light Reading
The Wi-Fi Alliance did the right thing, but lots of issues remain

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
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Photos: Qualcomm Takes Over San Francisco
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/19/2014
Connecticut Cities Crowdsource Gigabit Nets
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Utility Communications/IoT, 9/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed