IEEE ratifies 802.11n wireless standard

New spec, already used in draft version, will increase wireless LAN performance

It’s official: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has formally approved the 802.11n specification for wireless LANs, seven years after the ratification process began and a couple years after information technology shops started using “draft-n” devices.

The specification, the latest in a series of 802.11 wireless specs, greatly increases the data transfer rates and ranges for wireless devices, the IEEE said in a statement announcing 802.11n’s approval.

After draft 2.0 of the specification was released in early 2007, vendors started producing draft-n access points and other equipment. Quote a few organizations decided not to wait for the final approval. Earlier this year, for example, the University of Minnesota installed 9,500 draft-n access points, covering more than 300 buildings, in what university officials said was the largest 802.11n initiative to date. The GCN Lab reviewed six draft-n devices in March.

The final standard hasn’t changed much from the draft, although there are some option features, including packet aggregation and a technique for improving transition redundancy and reliability, according to Network World.

About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.


  • Records management: Look beyond the NARA mandates

    Pandemic tests electronic records management

    Between the rush enable more virtual collaboration, stalled digitization of archived records and managing records that reside in datasets, records management executives are sorting through new challenges.

  • boy learning at home (Travelpixs/

    Tucson’s community wireless bridges the digital divide

    The city built cell sites at government-owned facilities such as fire departments and libraries that were already connected to Tucson’s existing fiber backbone.

Stay Connected