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802.11n sales continue to grow, notes Wi-Fi Alliance

Posted: 08 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:802.11n draft 2.0? next-generation Wi-Fi? wireless?

A year after the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced 802.11n draft 2.0 certification, the next-generation Wi-Fi technology continues to grow. About 50 percent of Wi-Fi chipsets sold this year will adhere to the new draft standard, doubling the number from 2007, reported the Wi-Fi Alliance.

To date, the Wi-Fi Alliance has put the Wi-Fi Certified seal of approvalindicating validated product interoperabilityon 325 products and is seeing strong numbers of 802.11n draft 2.0 products presented for testing. Wi-Fi users have responded to the widespread availability of Wi-Fi certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products with unprecedented enthusiasm, said the industry group. ABI Research forecast that by 2013, over 90 percent of Wi-Fi products will support 802.11n, underscoring the benefits of advanced Wi-Fi technology and the importance of interoperability certification in delivering best user experience.

Wi-Fi certified products span both traditional PC networking gear and consumer electronics. TVs, media servers and gaming devices are among the products certified in the first year, and nearly half of the products support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, which eases the process of configuring and protecting a home Wi-Fi network. Enterprise network managers can now choose from more 180 Wi-Fi certified laptops, adapter cards and networking solutions that include 802.11n draft 2.0.

"Across the board and with a range of consumer and enterprise devices, we are seeing a real hunger for all things 802.11n draft 2.0," said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "The standard has redefined the wireless experience, enabling streaming video, gaming and other media throughout the home, while enabling advanced applications in enterprise networks. Wi-Fi Certified delivers great user experience with a wide range of Wi-Fi products."

Added Phil Solis, principal analyst at ABI Research: "Consumers will increasingly demand the performance boost that 802.11n draft 2.0 provides for data-intensive applications, including high definition video. Acceptance by enterprise customers will catch up to that of consumers this year due to the maturity of the technology and the increased availability of enterprise-grade Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products over the last year."

Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products have been tested for interoperability across vendors, adherence to WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security protocols, and backward compatibility with over 4,500 Wi-Fi certified 802.11a/b/g products. Products based on the IEEE 802.11n draft 2.0 deliver up to 5x the throughput and up to twice the range of those based on previous standards, enabling content-rich applications, and delivering those applications over a larger footprint. The certification program also includes WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) QoS, which helps deliver the best user experience with applications such as voice, video and gaming.

With a rapidly increasing number of draft-based products entering the market, the Wi-Fi Alliance began certifying products ahead of the final IEEE 802.11n standard to help ensure interoperability and the best user experience. The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to certify products based on the final version of the 802.11n standard once finalized by the IEEE.

"With so many companies now bringing Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products to the market, and in light of the heavy demand for the advanced technology, it is clear that the Wi-Fi Alliance made the right decision at the right time. Our decision gave users confidence and drove growth in the market," Figueroa concluded.

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