TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Wireless Networks on Verge of Makeover

Wireless Networks on Verge of Makeover

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 3 Jun 2005 07:16:58 -0400

By MATTHEW FORDAHL AP Technology Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- The technology behind wireless data networks
in homes and businesses is on the verge of a makeover that promises to
fix long-standing complaints of spotty coverage, flaky connections and
inconsistent speeds.

The next generation of Wi-Fi will be so powerful that it's expected to
be capable of carrying everything from Internet phone calls and music
to high-definition television streams over the airwaves without a

Problem is, the standard technically known as 802.11n does not yet
exist. Not even a draft has been approved.

In fact, the final 802.11n specifications aren't expected to receive
an official nod until late next year at the earliest.

But that has not stopped the makers of access points, networking cards
and other wireless gear from launching a parade of products that claim
the benefits and even the underlying technologies of the
still-to-be-defined 802.11n.

The situation is setting a new standard for market confusion _ even in
an industry that plasters its boxes with claims of unobtainable
speeds, fuzzy math and a dizzying collection of acronyms. Some
products are labeled "Pre N," which some believe might lead consumers
to think the equipment is upgradeable to actual 802.11n.


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