Wireless comms leaders unite on stalled 802.11n standard

In a bid to move on the stalled 802.11n ‘standard’ 27 of the biggest companies in wireless communications have joined together to agree on a common specification. The companies have joined together under the banner of the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC).

802.11n holds out the promise of wireless speeds of up to 600Mbits/sec. Currently the 802.11a and 802.11g standards used in most wireless communications offer throughputs of 20Mbit/s to 24Mbit/s respectively.

The ratification of the 802.11 standard has been fought over by two opposing industry groups. On the one side is World-Side Spectrum Efficiency (WWiSE) group on the other side is TGnSync that included the industry giants Intel and Cisco. The two camps have now agreed to work together under the EWC banner to thrash out a common position.

The spectre at the feast though is Airgo. This company already has a Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) solution that will form the basis of the 802.11n specification when it finally appears. MIMO supports two or more discrete signals to be transmitted over the same 802.11 radio channel simultaneously. The 802.11n standard is envisaged to offer 4×4 MIMO technology.

Even though the EWC contains the biggest players in the business, without the participation of Airgo, the establishment of a credible standard is that much harder.

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