802.11n Wi-Fi Draft Fails First Letter Ballot - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

07:26 AM

802.11n Wi-Fi Draft Fails First Letter Ballot

The spec-in-training also failed to garner a simple majority, with only 47% voting in favor of moving the draft to the next step in the IEEE process.

LONDON — Watch out for a 2.0 version of an 802.11n draft standard for high data rate Wi-Fi. The first vote by members of the IEEE 802.11 working group on Draft 1.0 failed to reach the 75 percent majority required for acceptance.

Worryingly for the standards process, the draft also failed to garner a simple majority, with only 46.6 percent voting in favor of moving the draft to the next step in the IEEE process.

Companies on different side of the argument were quick to suggest that the whole process is either broken, or all part and parcel of the standardization process, and the vote was as expected.

For those who have been claiming that it is too early to start shipping draft 802.11n chipsets — as companies like Broadcom and Atheros have been doing — the first ballot is a vindication.

According to Airgo Networks CEO Greg Raleigh: "Today's outcome proves that draft 1.0 was not as stable as some in the industry would have us believe. It calls into question the validity of so-called 'draft n' products. Airgo will continue to pursue its strategy of waiting until a more mature, stable draft is established before introducing products that comply.”

Raleigh also stressed the outcome is in line with recent reports that have highlighted the poor interoperability and inferior performance of such products.

One of these tests was conducted by Craig Mathias, principal of the Fairport Group (Ashland, Mass.) at EE Times' request on equipment from Netgear Inc. and Buffalo Technology.

"While we are extremely keen to see a fully ratified standard as soon as possible, we believe performance, ease of use and interoperability are absolutely critical and the standard must support these requirements. Since the Draft 1.0 fell short on several important areas we are pleased to see they will all be addressed in the next draft," said Raleigh.

Meanwhile, Atheros Communications played down the significance of the result of the first ballot, which it said was “as expected”.

The company noted that in the history of all 802.11 standards it is extremely rare for a first draft to succeed in its first letter ballot.

“Task Group N (TGn) will now review all submitted comments. The time schedule for the completion/ratification of the 802.11n standard has not changed. The IEEE membership had assumed that the draft specification would not pass after the first letter ballot, and took this step into consideration when developing the process timeline. A ratified 802.11n standard is still on track for mid-2007,” Atheros said in a statement.

"The 1.0 draft specification is still the one and only working draft," said Bill McFarland, chief technology officer of Atheros. “The bar for the final 802.11n standard is set very high and we will go through several more ballots. A 'No' vote at this stage does not indicate that there will be radical changes to the standard."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
How GIS Data Can Help Fix Vaccine Distribution
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/17/2021
Graph-Based AI Enters the Enterprise Mainstream
James Kobielus, Tech Analyst, Consultant and Author,  2/16/2021
11 Ways DevOps Is Evolving
Lisa Morgan, Freelance Writer,  2/18/2021
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll