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Even though the 802.11n standard has not been finalized yet, supporting equipment is becoming more and more popular on the market thanks to certification program by Wi-Fi Alliance. Nearly 50% of Wi-Fi chipsets sold this year are expected to adhere to the new 802.11n draft standard – double the number from 2007, according to the alliance.

“Across the board, and with a range of consumer and enterprise devices, we are seeing a real hunger for all things 802.11n draft 2.0. The standard has redefined the wireless experience, enabling streaming video, gaming, and other media throughout the home, while enabling advanced applications in enterprise networks,” said Edgar Figueroa, executive director of the Wi-Fi Alliance.

To date, the Wi-Fi Alliance has put the Wi-Fi Certified seal of approval – indicating validated product interoperability – on 325 products and is seeing strong numbers of 802.11n draft 2.0 products presented for testing. Wi-Fi users have responded to the widespread availability of Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products with unprecedented enthusiasm.

Wi-Fi Certified 802.11n draft 2.0 products have been tested for interoperability across vendors, adherence to WPA2TM (Wi-Fi Protected Access) security protocols, and backward compatibility with more than 4500 Wi-Fi Certified 802.11 a/b/g products. The certification program also includes WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) quality of service, which helps deliver the best user experience with applications such as voice, video and gaming.

The products which have been Wi-Fi Certified to date in the program span both traditional PC networking gear and consumer electronics. Televisions, media servers, and gaming devices are among the products certified in the first year, and nearly half of the products also support Wi-Fi Protected Setup, which eases the process of configuring and protecting a home Wi-Fi network. Enterprise network managers can now choose from more 180 Wi-Fi Certified laptops, adapter cards, and networking solutions that include 802.11n draft 2.0.

The Wi-Fi Alliance plans to certify products based on the final version of the 802.11n standard once finalized by the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers).

ABI Research forecasts that by 2013, more than 90% of Wi-Fi products will support 802.11n, underscoring the tremendous benefits of advanced Wi-Fi technology and the importance of interoperability certification in delivering the best user experience.

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