IEEE finally certifies next-gen 802.11n wireless standard

The standard has been ratified some seven years after the process began.


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has given the 802.11n wireless standard its official seal of approval, seven years after the next-generation technology was first mooted.

In a statement, Bruce Kraemer, chair of the IEEE Wireless LAN Working Group, said the ratification of 802.11n was "an extraordinarily wide-ranging technical challenge."

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"When we started in 2002, many of the technologies addressed in 802.11n were university research topics and had not been implemented," he added.

The final specification of 802.11n is based on the draft 2.0 version, released in January 2007. According to reports, consumers with hardware based on the draft 2.0 standard will encounter no problems if they attempt to use their hardware with fully-certified equipment.

802.11n represents a significant jump in theoretical performance versus the current ratified standard, 802.11g.

802.11g can manage a theoretical maximum of 54 Mbps, which is fast enough for sharing a broadband connection between a few computers but too slow for more intensive tasks such as streaming high definition video between devices. The maximum theoretical speed of 802.11n is 300 Mbps. It also has a greater effective distance.

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