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The Wireless Gigabit Alliance: IEEE's not-so-secret society

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) started coming out with the 802.11 standards for wireless networking back in 1997. At that time, an organization of manufacturers that eventually became known as the Wi-Fi Alliance organically sprang into existence. Its mission was to certify that devices conformed to the 802.11 standards, a kind of Underwriters Laboratories for wireless.

Lately, the 802.11ac amendment governing very high-throughput 5 GHz networks is getting all sorts of attention from government agencies and manufacturers alike. But rather than hope that the existing Wi-Fi Alliance adapts to handle these new higher speeds or that a new organization will spring up on its own, the IEEE has written an amendment to establish a new organization.

The 802.11ac amendment covers the formation of the Wireless Gigabit Alliance, also known as WiGig. This group of companies is tasked by the IEEE to discover new ways to expand into gigabit-plus wireless communications on the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and the as-yet unlicensed 60 GHz bands. And the alliance will be the central source of certification for devices that come out of these ideas.

I for one can’t wait to see what they come up with.

Posted by Greg Crowe on Oct 01, 2012 at 9:39 AM


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