Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Wi-Fi Alliance Cracks Down On Speed Enhancements

The Wi-Fi Alliance said Monday that it has expanded its certification procedures to cover extensions that some wireless chipmakers and equipment vendors have added to products to increase their speed.

Most vendors of equipment aimed at the home and small office markets have offered such extensions that, for instance, double the theoretical speed of 802.11g products from its normal 54 Mbps. However, that has led to sniping among some of the vendors, some of whom claim that the enhancements of their competitors damage performance of non-conforming products.

For instance, chipmaker Broadcom has long alleged that enhancements offered by rival chipmaker Atheros can degrade performance of products on the network not based on Atheros chipsets, a claim that Atheros has repeatedly denied.

Now, the Wi-Fi Alliance said it will only certify products if they are interoperable with all other certified products. It also said it may revoke certification from products that don't meet that level of interoperability.

"Products are eligible to become Wi-Fi certified provided they can pass the standard test suite and any extensions do not impair the ability of other certified products to operate as intended," Fred Hanzlik, the Wi-Fi Alliance managing director, said in a statement. "If a product extension significantly impacts the ability of other Wi-Fi certified equipment to operate as intended, the Alliance may withhold or revoke certification."

  • 1