Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) Announces Independent Test Lab and Wi-Fi Technology Brand
September 15, 1999-Atlanta, Ga. - The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) announced today the selection of the Silicon Valley Networking Lab Inc. (SVNL) to provide rigorous Wireless LAN product interoperability testing. WECA also unveiled Wi-Fi, the new consumer brand identity for the IEEE 802.11 High Rate (HR) Standard. The Wi-Fi brand name represented in a consumer friendly logo will serve as the awarded "seal of approval" for those WECA member products that have successfully completed the prescribed interoperability testing. Customers from enterprises to consumers can be assured that products bearing this logo will work together.
The interoperability testing procedures further WECA's drive toward the adoption of one agreed-upon standard for high-speed wireless local area networking: the IEEE 802.11 High Rate (HR) Direct Sequence (DS) standard. Products built to the new standard use the 2.4 GHz radio band and operate at 11 Mbps. Deployment of such products will enable high speed wireless networking for the enterprise, small office, public access zones and home.
"As more and more companies develop Wireless LAN products, the need to ensure interoperability becomes critical," said Phil Belanger, chairman, WECA. Belanger noted that WECA has also announced the addition of eleven industry leaders to its membership roster: Alantro, Apple, Breezecom, Cabletron, Compaq, Dell, Intermec, No Wires Needed, Sharewave, Wayport and Zoom."
Founded in 1998, the Silicon Valley Networking Lab has quickly become the largest and busiest West Coast networking test lab. More than 50 corporations will have used SVNL's services during its first 18 months of operation. Steve Bell, SVNL's founder, has been involved as an organizer/catalyst in testing projects at the UNH IOL, The Open Token Foundation and several other industry associations and standards bodies, including serving as an officer of the Gigabit Ethernet Alliance for two years.
SVNL has built a reputation for providing objective, high-quality performance, interoperability and functional testing services, and is uniquely equipped to operate the Wi-Fi certification program. Located in San Jose, Calif., SVNL boasts an experienced testing staff, having participated in IEEE working groups and contributing to the evolution of networking technology.
"The selection of a top testing facility and the introduction of the Wi-Fi interoperability seal of approval are major steps forward in the growth of Wireless LANs in the home and office. A trusted, third-party lab that can ensure interoperability will give customers the confidence they need in purchasing Wireless LAN products ", said Greg Ennis, technical committee chairman, WECA.
"Furthermore, the creation of an easily communicated and consumer friendly brand name to describe the IEEE 802.11 High Rate standard will help accelerate the transition of Wireless LAN technology into the mainstream", said John Ferrari, marketing committee chairman, WECA. "The collective marketing efforts of WECA and its fast growing roster of member companies will aim to rapidly build market awareness of the Wi-Fi brand. This communications campaign will ensure that consumers will be aware of, and on the lookout for products bearing the Wi-Fi brand and seal of approval. The presence of this logo on product collateral or packaging will deliver peace of mind to the purchaser that their investment is safeguarded and that this product has been proven interoperable with other products that bear the same seal."
WECA's mission is to certify interoperability of IEEE 802.11 High Rate wireless networking products and to promote that standard for the enterprise, small business, and the home. WECA will grant a seal of interoperability to vendors upon successful completion of prescribed test suites. Wireless LAN vendors building products in accordance with the IEEE 802.11 HR specification are encouraged to join and submit products for testing and the seal of interoperability. All companies supporting the IEEE 802.11 HR standard are also encouraged to join the alliance.