With testing finally and officially under way, though, we can expect more 802.11n products to be available. 'N', the latest generation of Wi-Fi, offers close to five times the throughput and almost twice the range of its 802.11a/b/g predecessors. The improvements promise to bolster multimedia applications that are beamed via Wi-Fi, as well as offer updated Wi-Fi Protected Access security protocols.
"With the advancements offered by 802.11n, Wi-Fi takes center stage as a key technology for networked digital home applications such as streaming high-definition video and interactive gaming," said Kurt Scherf, VP and principal analyst with Parks Associates. "Because Wi-Fi is so easy to use, and certification means different brands of gear work together, we expect the momentum to continue. There will be substantial implementation of 802.11n Wi-Fi in certain consumer electronics products."
While the benefits to the home user are clear, the enterprise is less likely to take advantage of streaming multimedia applications. Even so, the increase in bandwidth, number of supported users, and boosted range should be music to any IT manager's ears.