It looks like 802.11n is set to succeed where Blue-ray and HD DVD failed, after the two rival groups agreed to call a ceasefire and instead present a single, mutually acceptable proposal to judge, jury and executioner, the IEEE.
The news was announced late yesterday by both former playground enemies, TGn Sync and WWiSE (giants in the world of silly upper and lower case names), since it seems they have managed to swap exchanging fisticuffs in the schoolyard for spit behind the bike sheds. A firm joint draft will be sent to Headmaster IEEE in September with their final coursework due in November.
Of course, up until this point TGn and WWiSE had been pummelling each other relentlessly for over a year – which is roughly the time it became clear other respective challengers would fall by the wayside.
Unlike the respective backers of Blu-ray and HD DVD, who – if we’re honest – are now heavily stacked in favour of the former, the market seemed genuinely torn between both these companies and their erratic desire to press the Shift key. TGn could count the likes of Intel, Cisco, Nortel, Mitsubishi, Sony, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Toshiba in its gang, while WWiSE had spat and shaken on it with Motorola, Nokia, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, STMicro, (the vital) Airgo and so on.
Had it come to come a classroom scrap (complete with hair pulling, head locks and pinching), TGn was the likely winner, but the decision to make love not war would’ve made John Lennon proud.
Like most of the nastiest stand-offs (there was name calling and everything), the actual differences between the two sides were extremely minor. Never mind, for example, the agreements over MIMO technology, Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) to boost data throughput, the use of 20 and 40MHz channel widths, backwards compatibility with existing standards, implementation of spatial multiplexing techniques and lots of other extremely complicated stuff that would leave me scratching my head if I had to talk to you about it in any depth, they fell out over the refinements applied to the signals. ' FFS '
Still, with both companies now making moon eyes at one another and swapping notes written in three colours of pen under the desk, it seems all is well. Our long awaited new wireless standard (potentially offering a theoretical maximum of up to 540Mbps) could be in the bag not long after Christmas. Before we could our chickens though, you know what they say about office romances…