Wi-Fi Alliance cozies up to industry, promises to certify draft 802.11n products

Austin (TX) - The only organization able to make the anything-goes WLAN industry toe the line has decided to take a less objective approach. The Wi-Fi Alliance today announced it plans to adopt a two-phase plan that includes certification of draft status 802.11n products.

The Alliance said its decision was based on the IEEE’s recent update of its 802.11n standard ratification timeline to "target" the first quarter of 2008 for final standard approval. It also cited a forecasted "tens of millions of pre-standard devices [that will] ship in 2007".

A statement released by MIMO chipmaker Airgo Networks said the first phase will certify against 802.11n Draft 2.0, which is still under development. The second phase will occur after 802.11n ratification. The Alliance said it expects the second phase "will support compatibility between Wi-Fi CERTIFIED pre-standard products and those certified to the full standard".

The certification marks used for the first phase of the program will clearly indicate that the certified products are pre-standard, "so that consumers will understand that what they are purchasing is not based on a ratified IEEE standard". The Wi-Fi Alliance said it will announce details of the program name when it is finalized.

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