The latest version of Wi-Fi, 802.11n, received formal certification on Friday, despite the fact that more than 700 products have already been certified as compatible by the Wi-Fi Alliance. Never let it be said that the IEEE hurries things: more than two years after the first 802.11n products (conforming to an early draft of the …
Slow is not necessarily bad
I've heard a lot of people give IEEE a lot of bad-mouthing because they took so long to certify the 802.11n draft into a standard, but why? If you're looking for someone to blame, blame the vendors involved. THEY are the ones who all have different ideas and likely don't want to agree or compromise. Also, when we're talking about a multi-billion-dollar industry, it's a good idea to take your time and make sure that the standard is properly laid out. Would you really want a rushed (and probably poorly-thought-out) standard simply because vendors didn't want to wait to release their products? Would you prefer that all specifications take the Microsoft OOXML "certification" route?
"This compatibility is achieved thanks to the last details of the specification all being options in the draft, so draft devices should connect seamless with their properly-compliant siblings."
Let me rephrase that for you:
'IEEE and the vendors involved were forced to make the last details of the specifications optional in order to maintain compatibility with pre-standard kit made by jackass vendors who felt they were too important and too greedy to wait for the standard to be certified.'
If you base your product on a draft specification, not a certified standard, you have no right to expect it to inter-operate with a standard-compliant product. If you bought your kit knowing it was based on a draft, pre-standard version of a specification, then you have no right to complain if it doesn't work with standard-compliant kit. There's a reason it's called a draft.
the cellphone companies are living in fear of consumer owned mesh forming gear.
They put their own engineers in the working group to delay ratification.
Well designed 802.11n will perform better and be more robust (no single point of failure) than cell tower deployment.
"even if everyone is already using it at home"
Actually I've never bothered chasing N-spec devices. 'G does the job for me, so why pay the extra for the increased speed and ability to soak up the neighbours' bandwidth??!
...wow get your tin foil hat on baby...
"They put their own engineers in the working group to delay ratification."
Telecoms engineers have been on IEEE boards and expert groups since day 1. Of course they have vested interests in radio technology, they don't want it to completely f**k up the phone network.
If anything, it will be the telco's that actually deploy large scale mesh networks, having acess points and infrastructure to do so, but at the moment, the see little commercial benefit in it.
I suspect a lot of manufacturers sold draft-N kit was because the standard was taking so long to get ratified.
Sure, there will always be bleeding-edge companies & customers who will go for early draft stuff. But the bulk of the industry, I think, started shipping draft-N stuff because they could see the standard was a long way away, and competitors were starting to gain traction with their early kit.