Wi-Fi Celebrates Its Third Birthday
Mountain View, CA, April 7, 2003 - The Wi-Fi Alliance announced today that the Wi-Fi product certification program is now three years old. Wi-Fi Certification began in March of 2000.
This has been an amazing three years for Wi-Fi, said Dennis Eaton, Chairman of the Wi-Fi Alliance. As with any new technology, we had high expectations for Wi-Fis growth potential. However, what happened turned out to be nothing short of amazing. Not only has Wi-Fi grown beyond our expectations, it has turned out to be a rallying point for entrepreneurs, large technology companies and grass root organizations. Looking back on this experience, it is clear that true interoperability and open standards were a key component of Wi-Fis success. What made it even more remarkable was that this took place during one of the most significant downturns in the history of the technology industry.
Certainly the increased number and diversity of Wi-Fi products is one indicator of Wi-Fis evolution, but more importantly, entire new industry segments based on Wi-Fi technology, like public access, have emerged. Another measure is that only two years ago, less than five percent of laptops were shipped with Wi-Fi built in. This year we expect greater than fifty percent of laptops will ship with Wi-Fi and an even higher percentage is anticipated in the future.
Wi-Fi was also originally viewed as a business solution. Wi-Fi consumer sales are now four times greater than Wi-Fi sales to enterprises. Looking down the road, we see even more change ahead with even greater applications for Wi-Fi in consumer electronics and to places we cant even imagine today, continued Eaton.
A Brief History
The Wi-Fi Alliance was formed in August of 1999 by 3COM, Aironet (now Cisco) Lucent Technologies (now Agere), Intersil, Nokia and Symbol Technologies for the purpose of certifying interoperability of 802.11b products. At that point in time products from different vendors did not work together even though they were based on the same IEEE 802.11 standard. Shortly thereafter, the Wi-Fi Alliance coined the term Wi-Fi to indicate that products had passed the organizations interoperability certification program. In March of 2000, the first interoperability testing began.
See Wi-Fi at N+I Vegas and Wireless Japan 2003
Wi-Fi-based wireless LANs will be on display at N+I Vegas 2003 (Las Vegas Convention Center, Wi-Fi Pavilion, Booth # 7055, Central Hall 4) April 29-May 1, 2003 and EXPO COMM Wireless Japan 2003 (Tokyo International Exhibition Center, Tokyo Big Sight, Booth # 751), Tokyo, Japan, July 16-18, 2003.
About the Wi-Fi Alliance
The Wi-Fi Alliance (formerly WECA) is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of IEEE 802.11 products and to promote them as the global, wireless LAN standard across all market segments.
The Wi-Fi Alliance has instituted a test suite that defines how member products are tested to certify that they are interoperable with other Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products. These tests are conducted at an independent laboratory.
Membership in the Wi-Fi Alliance is open to all companies that support the 802.11 family of standards. The Wi-Fi Alliance now comprises over 200 members from the worlds leading companies. These companies offer over 650 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products. For more information, please visit www.wi-fi.org.