IEEE 802.11n heads for a finish in September

The final vote on the hotly debated wireless standard looks likely to come Sept. 11

The IEEE 802.11n standard is likely to be approved in September, making the high-speed wireless LAN technology official after about seven years of wrangling and refinement.

The 802.11 working group, which has developed all the major wireless LAN standards, voted on Friday to send Draft 2.0 of the 11n standard on to the upper levels of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers for final review and publication, according to a blog entry by Matthew Gast, chief strategist at Trapeze Networks and a member of the task group. There was only one dissenting vote, Gast wrote.

Final approval will be up to the IEEE Standards Board Review Committee, which examines all standards that come out of the organization, Gast wrote. Its next meeting will take place Sept. 11. IEEE standards typically don't undergo major changes or debate in the final stages of approval.

The 11n standard defines a way to use multiple antennas to achieve throughput of more than 100Mb per second (Mbps), up to a maximum of 600Mbps. A high throughput study group within the IEEE began exploring faster technology in 2002 and later became Task Group 11n. But opposing camps that had already begun shipping their own high-speed products got embroiled in fierce disagreements about the proposed standard, and in 2006, the first draft failed to get the 75 percent vote in the task group that was required to move on.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, which certifies 802.11 products for standards compliance and interoperability, decided in 2006 it couldn't wait out the lengthy 11n process and would start certifying products based on a draft version. After Draft 2 got a 75 percent vote in the 11n task group in 2007, the Alliance started certifying products under that draft. It cited the flood of pre-standard products already coming from several vendors and the danger of consumer confusion. More than 600 products have been approved as "draft 11n" since then.

Coincidentally, the first meeting of the High Throughput Study Group that spawned 11n took place on Sept. 11, 2002, Gast noted. "If approved, the 802.11n effort will have taken exactly seven years, at least by one measure," Gast wrote.

However, he noted that the IEEE isn't sitting on its laurels. There are already two groups looking at possible standards for 1Gbps wireless LANs, called 802.11ac and 802.11ad. The 802.11ad group is studying 60GHz technology, which the WiGig Alliance is also pushing for fast wireless connections.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags wireless lan802.11nIEEE

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Stephen Lawson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?