Official Standard Status for Wi-Fi 802.11n Soon
802.11n Wi-Fi has been around for a long time – nearly a decade, but so far it has not received “official standard” status. But things are about the change as the IEEE Task Group is in the final stages of recognising it as an official standard, with approval expected as early as this September.
802.11n was proposed as a successor to 802.11a, b and g back in 2002. It was accepted quickly by most manufacturers and products based on the same have been around in the market for years. Since then these products have been certified as interoperable by the Wi-Fi Alliance, the organization responsible for development of the Wi-Fi brand.
The IEEE too started a formal exercise to convert it into a publishable specification on 11 September 2003, but so far, members of its Task Group n (TGn) have only managed to argue and deliberate over the details. In the last seven years, 802.11n specifications have developed into a nearly complete “draft” standard, but are yet to be formalised.
When the TGn proposed a Draft 2.0 in 2007, manufacturers and vendors were happy to receive specifications that were stable enough to use for developing and testing products. It was also assumed that the final, standard version will be following soon. Instead, the intervening two years have seen seven more drafts including Draft 8.0 in March and the more recent Draft 9.0.
While Draft 8.0 was complete in almost all senses, certain participants felt it is still lacking certain details, which forced the Task Group n to release Draft 9.0 on 4 April. What has followed since then has been nothing short of hilarious – Draft 10.0 on 15 May, Draft 11.0 on 5 June and Draft 11.0 revised on 23 June.
It now seems that this revised draft could turn out to be the final version, as inside reports suggest it has everyone satisfied. The TGn is expected to finally submit Draft 11.0 revised to the IEEE for formal approval in September, which should bring a sigh of relief from more parties involved.
Though, the relief might be short-lived; 802.11ad Wi-Fi is ready to hit the market and it has been designed to deliver much higher speeds – Gigabit in the 60GHz band – than 802.11n. Are the IEEE experts ready for another decade long exercise?
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