802.11n Slips To 2008

At least you'll be getting a decent life cycle out of that Draft N equipment.

It was back in early August 2005 when I wrote the (now) hideously optimistic story 802.11n Close After Rivals Merge. I won’t be making that mistake again anytime soon.


Just three months after the hotly anticipated Draft N specification fell flat on its arse we’re in trouble again. The reason: it failed far more spectacularly than we ever imagined.

In a statement designed to suck the optimism straight from our very souls dogmatic 802.11n overlord the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has revealed almost 12,000 comments had been tacked onto the failed spec. Naturally, in a way that would make Vogons seem tardy, the IEEE needs to carefully consider every single one of them. Consequently a second draft of 802.11n is now unlikely to arrive before January 2007 with industry experts now predicting a finalised standard is in danger of dropping into 2008.

Furthermore you’ll be pleased to know that nearly 6,000 of the comments made regarding Draft N were concerning editorial alternations required in the document.

The (only) upside in all of this is for early adopters who were previously derided for buying Draft N based routers which are unlikely to be compatible with the finished standard. Well, with products having been available since June, it appears most of them will get a good 18 months of usage before this now becomes a problem and that’s a pretty decent lifecycle for any piece of IT equipment. Whoever laughs last (s)n(/s) and all that…

All of which brings me back to my August article where – after severely tempting the Laws of Sod – I thought I could escape their wrath with a single line caveat…

”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…”

Stupid, just stupid.


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