802.11n update

There’s some FUD around 802.11n. A comment on this blog wonders how long it will be before it is ratified, and calls it a “pipe dream.”

So I was pleased to hear an aside from a Cisco executive in the webinar about the new Cisco Mobility vision. A participant asked Brett Galloway if delays in the ratification of 802.11n are holding back deployment. He responded:

We don’t see it. Technology adoption is a cycle. Late adopters are more conservative. Large numbers of 11n clients are shipping. The driver is Wi-Fi Alliance Draft N certification. There is comprehensive agreement around the ecosystem for interoperability testing using the WFA testbed. Cisco announced recently that it had shipped 50,000 11n access points.

The critical point here is that a final 802.11n specification is not needed for successful deployment. The main thing you want from a Wi-Fi device is that it is interoperable with all the others, and that’s what the Wi-Fi Alliance Draft N certification delivers – at least to the same extent that 11g devices are interoperable.

While 50,000 is a trivial number in the context of Wi-Fi access points, remember this is just enterprise-grade APs, and doesn’t include anything from Cisco’s Linksys division. When the litigation goes away and the final specification is published, all the access points out there are likely to be upgradable with a download. So go ahead and enjoy the benefits of 11n like so many other people are doing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *