No Draft-N Specification

9:00 AM -- I've been hearing rumors that the Wi-Fi Alliance was actually going to create an interoperability specification based on the so-called Draft-N products now on the market. The vendors of these systems have themselves been working with each other on interoperability, and I understand progress has been made on getting them to connect with each other at faster-than-g speeds. I'm in the middle of a big project testing a variety of MIMO-based WLANs now, and will have more to report on this topic in a month or so.

But I recently spoke with Frank Hanzlik, who heads the Wi-Fi Alliance, and he reaffirmed the Alliance's official position -- they'll wait for the final 802.11n standard before producing their certification tests for interoperability. While I personally applaud this stance, since I still don't think there's any such thing as being compliant with a draft, it might actually have made sense for the Alliance to certify interoperability. After all, they don't really need a standard to base their specs on, and the companies that are selling Draft-N products are key members of the Alliance. Still, bravo, Wi-Fi Alliance -- let's let the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE) set the pace, and build on what that recognized standards body produces.

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

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