802.11n: Fast Wi-Fi's long, tortuous road to standardization
Dec 11, 2009, 19:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)
"In fact, until September 2009, it wasn't, officially, even a
standard. But that didn't stop vendors from implementing it for
several years beforehand, causing confusion and upset when
networking gear that used draft standards from different suppliers
wouldn't always work at the fastest possible speed when
"It wasn't supposed to be that way. But, for years, the Wi-Fi
hardware big dogs fought over the 802.11n protocol like it was a
chew toy. The result: it took five drama-packed years for the
standard to come to fruition.
"The delay was never over the technology. In fact, the technical
tricks that give 802.11n its steady connection speeds of 100Mbps to
140Mbps have been well-known for years.
"Instead, the answer is the usual one behind standards wars:
mud-wrestling among major vendors. They squared off over which
approach would become the one, true, money-making standard. In this
case, that wrestling match hit a new low point -- several times,
just when it seemed like agreement had been reached, it turned out
that a new fight was brewing instead."