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Issue of October 2006 

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Faster 802.11 standard delayed

Those waiting for data transfer speeds of 100 Mbps on the 802.11n standard will have to wait till about 2008. The ratification of the standard has been pushed forward by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) because of the large number of comments received. In all, about 12,000 comments have been sent to the IEEE.

According to industry specialists, the second draft of 802.11n should be ready for final approval by early 2008. However, IT Week’s tests on the kit found that speeds of around 100 Mbps were not achieved. Also there were problems vis-à-vis compatibility with existing 802.11a/b/g standards.

For enterprises using pre-802.11n hardware, the delay may spell bad news because of the danger of having their ‘incompatible’ hardware rendered useless. Vendors however have already started manufacturing hardware for the standard.

Analysts have been firm on advising organisations to not deploy 802.11n hardware before the standard is given the green flag. It’s going to be a while.

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Indian Express - Business Publications Division

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