Dell Offers 802.11n and the “n” Stands for Not Yet
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- Written on: July 18th, 2006
Dell has announced it plans to begin shipping its laptop computers with the brand spankin’ new draft version of the 802.11n wireless network standard. However, those who adopt the “n” standard now may have a headache on their hands next year if the standard is not adopted as written today.
802.11n promises a faster connection, greater signal range, and more networking possibilities, but not everyone is in agreement that the technology is ready for prime time.
In a recent meeting of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers 802.11n task group in Cairns, Australia, the 1.0 draft version of the 802.11n standard failed to pass a vote required to become an accepted standard. A 75% yes vote of the delegates was required, but the draft version fell well short with only 57% in agreement.
While most home networking users who buy Dell notebooks don’t really care about the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, these users will care if they buy a Dell notebook today with the 802.11n draft technology and then the standard is changed in any significant way before it is finalized and accepted later this year. It is entirely possible that a consumer who buys a Dell notebook today with 802.11n technology will not be able to use the “n” standard next year.
To complicate matters even further, the Farpoint Group recently published a study that was based upon tests of draft “n” wireless devices that found performance and interoperability claims advertised by chip vendors didn’t live up to expectations.
I would recommend that users DO NOT purchase any 802.11n based products until it becomes an official standard and the concerns of critics of the new-born technology have been addressed.
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