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Wi-Fi Alliance Affirms Core Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n Program Tests Will Not Change for September Update

Interoperability with previously-certified 802.11n products will be preserved, with some optional features added to testing

AUSTIN, Texas, July 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced that it will not change the baseline requirements of its 802.11n certification program, and plans to make only small optional additions to coincide with the finalization of the 802.11n standard later this year. The updated test program will preserve interoperability with more than 600 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 products released since June 2007, while adding testing for some optional features now included in the standard. This validation of the existing certification program comes as the IEEE 802.11n standard is set for final approval within IEEE this September. Product testing to the updated certification is expected to begin in late September.

"Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 products have seen wide acceptance across consumer and enterprise markets. It's clear our decision to deliver a draft program has served the interests of the market and Wi-Fi end users the world over," said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance. "The finalization of the 802.11n standard presents an opportunity for us to reaffirm our certification program and to implement additional testing of optional features while preserving interoperability."

"Interoperability across draft and final 802.11n-based products is what really matters as this certification program evolves to mirror developments in the market," said Phil Solis, practice director at ABI Research. "The Wi-Fi Alliance led the industry in 2007 by introducing its 802.11n draft 2.0 program, and is striking the right balance now by adding a few features without sacrificing compatibility with previously-certified products."

The 11n certification program will add support for interoperability testing of some optional features in the approved 802.11n standard. Because all Wi-Fi CERTIFIED draft 2.0 products meet the core requirements of - and interoperate with - the updated program, they will be eligible to use the approved 802.11n logo without retesting.

ABI Research forecasts 11n shipments to reach 45 percent this year and grow to nearly 60 percent in 2012. The more than 600 products certified for draft 802.11n include computers, consumer electronics such as televisions and media servers, and consumer networking devices. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 802.11n draft 2.0 has also extended deeply into the enterprise segment, with more than 100 enterprise-grade access point/switch devices certified since 2007.

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