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802.11g: Radio On

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) has finally ratified the 802.11g (54-Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) wireless LAN specification with a ballot this morning.

"I believe it happened about 8:30 a.m.," Brian Matthews, publicity chair for the 802.11 working group told Unstrung. "The voting was not unanimous, but it certainly met the majority voting requirements."

Matthews did not have any details available on which companies voted for and against the specification.

The final specification, draft 8.2, includes a provision to throttle back the raw data transmission speed of 802.11g to 11 Mbit/s when g devices are used on a mixed network with the kit based on the older 802.11b (11-Mbit/s over 2.4GHz) standard. This provision is intended to address some of the interoperability problems between the two standards, first reported by Unstrung back in January (see Interop Woes Smite 802.11g).

Many companies have already launched products based on various editions of the draft specification (see 'Pre-G''s Alright With Me). Companies like SOHO equipment maker Netgear Inc. have already today issued firmware updates for "Pre-G" kit.

Meanwhile, companies like Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) and Nortel Networks Corp. (NYSE/Toronto: NT), which have steadfastly refused to launch 802.11g equipment until the standard is ratified, are now expected to launch g gear. HP confirmed that it is pushing ahead with its g plans but could not find anyone to talk specifically about launch dates by press time.

— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung

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