Waiting for High-Speed WiFi
There isn't going to be a vote on the specification until January 2006.
But there does now appear to be agreement that the body will go with a joint proposal that combines the various vendor-backed specifications.
"In January you'll have a confirmation vote," says Rolf De Vegt, senior director of business development at Airgo Networks. This will likely be followed by a first draft in March.
"Nothing will happen with 802.11n until the January meeting -- it's my expectation that the joint proposal will move forward at that point," concurs Craig Mathias, principal analyst at the "It remains to be seen if those involved in EWC will produce it regardless." EWC, or the Enhanced Wireless Consortium, is the latest in a long line of industry bodies centered around putting together a high-speed WiFi specification. Members of the EWC include Atheros Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ATHR), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC).
So, why so much fuss over a WiFi specification? Well, many vendors expect that 802.11n will enable them to offer a new generation of multimedia applications to both enterprise and consumer markets.
The 802.11n specification is a high-throughput specification for wireless LAN that should start to enable serious multimedia applications like video and TV over WiFi connections. The technology will use multiple input, multiple out (MIMO) smart antenna technology to push data rates to 108 Mbit/s and beyond.
Airgo's De Vegt says that the IEEE is currently sticking by its schedule of completing the specification process by March 2007 but admits that this could now be a "squeeze."
— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung