Wi-Fi

802.11n products hitting the market, but should you wait?

Wi-Fi speed buffs are already getting accelerated, thanks to several new 802.11n prestandard products.

Wi-Fi speed buffs are already getting accelerated, thanks to several new 802.11n prestandard products. On Sunday, Netgear announced their Wireless-N line of products, which includes USB adapters, routers, and an HD/gaming networking kit. Linksys, a division of Cisco, has announced new routers that are more attractively styled than the familiar blue boxes and do not require external antennae. Broadcom's products are also set to hit the market soon, as it announced its entry into the market today.

NETGEAR(R) Launches Next Generation Wireless-N Family of Networking Products... (Fox Business)

Linksys Hopes New Designs and Lower Prices Boost 802.11n Sales (PC World)

Broadcom's Dual-Band 802.11n Solutions Deliver the First Real Wi-Fi(R) Multimedia... (Reuters)

However, other technologies on the horizon might give you pause as you consider upgrading your infrastructure. Arun Radhakrishnan posted a blog on Sony's new TransferJet technology, which promises throughput of 560 Mbps, and Marvell made an announcement last week too. Here is a snippet...

Last week, Marvell announced an 802.11n MIMO chip that can do three spatial streams (that's three simultaneous streams of data between the client and the AP), giving a symbol rate of 450 Mbit/s and therefore a data throughput that might get to around 200 Mbit/s depending on distance.

Should you hold off on 802.11n because of Marvell? (Techworld)

So, by the time 802.11n is an actual standard, it could very well be obsolete, which is nothing new in the world of high technology. But, this may give a lot of businesses a reason to wait around for truly high bandwidth rather than upgrading to 802.11n and then going through another upgrade in the near future. What is the next wireless technology you will implement?

4 comments
Andy Moon
Andy Moon

We just put in Wi-Fi over the course of the last year and still have not seen massive usage, so I doubt we will be pushing for anything faster soon. Even if people were pushing, I would probably recommend against going to the 802.11n standard at least until the final standard comes out next year, which would also give time for some of the new technologies to mature. How about you, are you already implementing 802.11n devices, something older, or are you waiting for the new technology?

WB2HMY
WB2HMY

I PURCHASED THE LINKSYS N SYSTEM AND 3 CARDS FOR OUR 3 LAPTOPS,COST 430 DOLLARS. FOR 2 DAYS WE KEPT GETTING DISCONNECTED. WE FOUND OUT THAT EVERYTIME THE PHONE RANG WE WERE DISCONNECTED. THE ROUTER WAS 1 FOOT FROM THE PHONE WHICH OPERATES ON 2.4G,I TOLD MY SON TO DISCONNECT THE PHONE,IT WAS GETTING INTO THE LINLSYS MODEM.. NEXT TIME THE PHONE RANG HE STAYED ON,I'M 40 FT AWAY I GET DISCONNECTED,FROM THE PHONE 8 FT AWAY FROM MY LAPTOP. MY WIFE WAS TALKING ON THE HANDSET,CAME WITHIN 7 FT AND DISCONNENTED ME. HAD MY SON PACK UP THE SYSTEM,GET MY 430 DOLLARS BACK,PUT BACK MY LINKSYS 54 AND NOW IM HAPPY...

Michael_Knight
Michael_Knight

WB2HMY Sorry you had those problems. Most likely the router and the phone were on the same 2.4 frequency. I myself still use a wired router for my needs so I don't have the interference issue, but buying a cordless phone at a different frequency may have fixed the problem...or switching the linksys to 5g and knocking everyone in your community off would of worked too...at least for you!

Michael Kassner
Michael Kassner

The IEEE draft 802.11n in its present form actually controls the upper data rate limit to not exceed 600Mbps. So there is still plenty of room for chip set developers to improve real-world data rates. As for using existing enterprise 802.11n equipment now, I have no problem designing it into networks if it meets or exceeds required parameters. The enterprise equipment manufacturers have devices that fill existing needs, work better, add more reliability, and can be used in spot deployments to replace questionable wired connections. But, on the flip side if data rates of 450Mbps are required, Cisco has just mentioned that it will be using the Marvell chip set (out next quarter) in its next round of 802.11n equipment, so waiting maybe the best choice. As a point of interest this link expresses a point of view held by many in the industry. http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/wireless/?p=134