802.11n ratification: Wait, it wasn't ratified before?

802.11n ratification may be long overdue, but the WLAN standard is an important part of the top 10 networking stories of 2009. The ratification left the draft largely unchanged, so existing products remain valid.

802.11n ratification finally came about in 2009.

Technology may move swiftly, but the standards process doesn't. So exactly seven years after the IEEE's High Throughput Study Group (now known as the 802.11n Working Group) began working on it, 2009 saw 802.11n ratification.

It's not as if vendors were waiting around for the super-speed 802.11n WLAN standard to be ratified -- they'd already created and sold more than 600 product lines using a draft version. But the big news from the 802.11n ratification front was that the standard would remain basically unchanged, leaving all of those previously released products in action.

802.11n ratification also prompted an immediate reduction in 802.11n equipment prices. Vendors were quick to capitalize, launching cash-for-clunkers programs for legacy wireless LAN equipment trade-ins. LOL

But watch out -- the IEEE High Throughput Study Group is working on standards for Gigabit wireless networking technology. So maybe by 2016, we'll be working with what has been dubbed 802.11ac or 802.11ad as the next WLAN standard of choice. NEXT: A virtual pain in the neck ...

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This was first published in December 2009

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