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New Wi-Fi standard edges toward final ratification

The next-generation Wi-Fi standard 802.11n is still on track toward full ratification.

Late Friday, Draft 2.0 of the specification was accepted by over 83 percent of the IEEE 802.11n working group in the latest vote. If the process continues to work as planned, final ratification by the entire IEEE membership is slated for September 2008. The IEEE 802.11n committee will meet March 13-18 in Orlando, Fla., to resolve remaining comments and push toward finalization.

Another good sign that faster Wi-Fi is on the way is that the Wi-Fi Alliance's certification process is also still on track. Last week, the industry group reconfirmed that an 802.11n certification mark will be available in June 2007. The certification test plan is based on the IEEE's Draft 2.0 of the specification.

The 802.11n standard, which promises to deliver faster data speeds over long distances, was hung up for a while over squabbles between two groups of companies pushing for their own version of the specification. But with those differences worked out, the standard has been moving quickly for several months through the necessary steps toward ratification.

Several companies have already shipped products based on the first draft of the standard, including Apple with its AirPort Extreme Wi-Fi base station.