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8/27/2007
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Hanzlik Out As Wi-Fi Alliance Chief

No replacement has been named; Hanzlik's post has been filled on a temporary basis by Andrew Myles, manager of wireless standards at Cisco.

Frank Hanzlik, who has led the Wi-Fi Alliance as its managing director since 2003, has quietly left the organization, InformationWeek has learned.

A wireless industry veteran, Hanzlik left the Wi-Fi Alliance on Aug. 8, said senior marketing director Karen Hanley. No replacement has been named; Hanzlik's post has been filled on a temporary basis by Andrew Myles, manager of wireless standards at Cisco Systems and the chairman of the board of the Alliance.

Hanzlik left because "he had a good opportunity at another organization," Hanley said. She declined to specify the specific organization. Hanzlik himself has not been reached for comment.

Founded in 1999, the Wi-Fi Alliance is the leading industry group and standards body for Wi-Fi, the group of wireless networking technologies grouped under the 802.11 standard from the IEEE. With more than 300 member companies from around the world, the alliance has played a leading role in promoting Wi-Fi networking products and in insuring the interoperability of hundreds of different Wi-Fi-enabled devices and systems.

The group hasn't been immune to controversy: last year it reversed its stated policy of not doing interoperability testing of products based on new 802.11n technology until the final, formal ratification of the standard from the IEEE. The new standard, which has been delayed several times and will likely not be finally approved until mid-2008, will pave the way for wireless LANs running at speeds of 100 Mbit/s and up. The alliance has said it plans to start testing wireless LAN chipsets, components, and access points based on a preliminary draft of the standard sometime this year.

Hanzlik himself has been a visible commentator on various issues in the mobile and wireless industry, including the setbacks for municipal wireless networks, the profusion of standards covered by the term Wi-Fi, and the power of U.S. carriers to block new "dual-mode" Wi-Fi-enabled cell phones from entering the American market.

Interviewed in late July, Hanzlik gave no indication of his intention to move on from the Wi-Fi Alliance. "It's a very exciting time," he said, speaking of the emergence of new dual-mode devices including the iPhone from Apple, "with several new high-profile phones with Wi-Fi supported by the carriers and offering truly integrated solutions."

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