Wi-Fi Alliance Announces Certification Plans for IEEE 802.11g Wireless LAN Products

Mountain View, CA, February 25, 2003 - The Wi-Fi Alliance today announced its plans for Wi-Fi certification of products based on the IEEE (Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers) 802.11g amendment to the IEEE 802.11 wireless LAN standard. Wi-Fi certification testing of IEEE 802.11g products will begin after the IEEE has approved the final standard. This will be the fourth Wi-Fi certification test that has been developed for 802.11 standards since the program began in March of 2000. To date, over 600 products from 100 companies have received Wi-Fi certification.


Wireless LAN product interoperability is fundamental to a good user experience, said Dennis Eaton, Chairman of the Wi-Fi Alliance. That is why the Alliance is committed to providing users with an indicator of quality for wireless LAN technology as it evolves. To do this we need to work on new interoperability tests ahead of time. Therefore, we have already started development of the Wi-Fi certification program for IEEE 802.11g products even though the standard is not finalized.

In fact, the need for a proven interoperability certification program is increasing. As more products include wireless LAN technology, users are often not able to choose which vendors product is used in their laptop at work, at a favorite public access venue or even in consumer electronics devices. Although the Alliance expects products based on the 802.11g draft amendment to be used in these and other applications, we will only certify products after the standard amendment is approved, continued Eaton.

The IEEE 802.11g draft amendment currently includes both mandatory and optional components. The Wi-Fi Alliance intends to certify all mandatory features, including backward interoperability with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ 802.11b products, and simultaneous operation of IEEE 802.11b and 802.11g devices in a mixed network. Optional elements of the standard to be certified include support for the 54 Mbps data rate in addition to other selected optional IEEE 802.11g features that will optimize performance and network utilization.

Capabilities Label

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ IEEE 802.11g products will be identified by a new element on the capabilities label. A new line indicating support for 54 Mbps in the 2.4 GHz band will be added to the label. The new label will be released for use when 802.11g certification commences.

Test Program Development Process

The Alliance is currently developing an 802.11g interoperability test program based on the most recent draft of the standard. Actual certification testing will be based on the final standard and will begin when the standard has been approved.

The certification program includes collaboration among Alliance members to develop the expected behaviors for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products and uses a series of confidential interoperability events to further develop the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ test program. These events include products from several vendors to develop the rigorous testing procedures. This approach ensures the quality of the testing and that the test program will be in place when the IEEE approves the final 802.11g amendment. Similar interoperability events were also held as part of the certification development process for 802.11b, 802.11a and Wi-Fi Protected Access.

See Wi-Fi at CeBIT

Wi-Fi based wireless LANs will be on display at CeBIT 2003 (Hannover Fairgrounds, Hall 13, Stand # D37, Wireless LAN and PAN Pavilion, Booth C3), Hannover, Germany, March 12-19, 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 600 Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ products. For more information, please visit www.wi-fi.org.