Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) Awards First Wi-Fi Interoperability Certifications
San Jose, CA, April 17, 2000 - The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) announced today that it has awarded the first Wi-Fi? certifications for wireless LAN product interoperability. This certification gives consumer and business buyers assurance that wireless LAN products bearing the Wi-Fi logo manufactured by different vendors will be compatible and work together right out of the box. Wi-Fi certified products are built on the IEEE 802.11b HR standard. The products granted approval in the first round of certification include:
- 3Com AirConnect 11Mbps Wireless LAN PC Card
- 3Com AirConnect 11Mbps Wireless LAN Access Point
- Cisco Systems
- Cisco Aironet 340 Series Access Point
- Cisco Aironet 340 Series Wireless PC Card
- Compaq WL100 11 Mbps Wireless LAN PC Card
- Compaq WL400 11 Mbps Wireless LAN Hardware Access Point
- Enterasys Networks, A Cabletron Systems Company
- RoamAbout 802.11b DS High Rate PC Card
- RoamAbout AccessPoint 2000
- Intermec Technology Corp.
- Intermec 2101 Universal Office Access Point
- Lucent Technologies
- ORINOCO PC Card - Gold
- ORINOCO PC Card - Silver
- ORINOCO WavePOINT-II Access Point
- Spectrum24® High Rate 11Mbps Wireless LAN PC Card
- Spectrum24® High Rate 11Mbps Access Point
- Zoom Telephonics
- ZoomAir Wireless PC Card
- ZoomAir Wireless Software Access Point (when used in conjunction with the Zoom PC Card)
Wireless LANs have held great promise in the home and small office because they eliminate the need to run any network wiring, but interoperability between different vendors has been an issue. The level and ease of wireless LAN interoperability created by Wi-Fi certification is unprecedented. The Wi-Fi logo, a new consumer brand identity, serves as the "seal of interoperability" for IEEE 802.11b High Rate (HR) wireless LAN products that have successfully completed interoperability testing. Several other products are in testing now, and many more are expected this year.
"This is the first time in the history of wireless LAN technology that such a broad range of companies has launched an interoperability initiative of this magnitude," explained WECA Chairman, Phil Belanger. "Now, users can traverse different environments with the same technology ¾ including their company office, home, public access areas (e.g., hotels and airports) and small businesses. This is the event that we have all been waiting for to drive adoption of wireless LAN technology across all market segments," Belanger continued. Besides the benefit to the user of guaranteed compatibility, standards-based solutions and certified interoperability also drive down cost by enabling many companies to make products based on the same technology. This leads to increased volume, decreased production costs and ultimately, lower product prices for the user.
The Wi-Fi logo is significant in that it certifies interoperability between PC network adapter cards and devices and access points from different vendors.
Such PC products include PCMCIA Cards for notebooks, ISA and PCI cards for desktops, and USB modules that can be used with either. This makes the buying decision easy for the consumer - any product that has a Wi-Fi logo will work out of the box with any other product that has a Wi-Fi logo. The term Wi-Fi is used in place of IEEE 802.11b HR, much like Ethernet is the term used instead of IEEE 802.3. All Wi-Fi certified products support a maximum data rate of 11 Mbps.
Wi-Fi Testing Process
Products awarded the Wi-Fi logo have undergone strict, rigorous, and independent testing at the Silicon Valley Networking Lab (SVNL). Testing usually takes between 2 to 4 days per product to complete. Uniquely equipped to operate the Wi-Fi certification program, SVNL has built a reputation for providing objective, high-quality performance, interoperability and functional testing services.
To assure impartiality, SVNL conducts testing independent of WECA. Only after products have successfully completed all phases of interoperability testing are vendors permitted to use the Wi-Fi interoperability certification logo for a specific product. Membership in WECA alone is no determination of passing interoperability testing.
A Place To See it For Yourself
As new products pass testing, WECA will be making periodic additional certification announcements. In addition, WECA will showcase interoperability in action at the upcoming NetWorld+Interop 2000 at the Las Vegas Convention Center, May 7-12, 2000 in the WECA Pavilion (booth numbers 5223, 6269, 6905, 5775 and 8105).
About the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance
The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) is a non-profit organization formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b High Rate) products and to promote Wi-Fi as the global wireless LAN standard across all market segments.
WECA has defined a test suite that defines how member products are tested to certify that they are interoperable with other vendor products. An independent test lab, The Silicon Valley Networking Lab, Inc., (www.svnl.com) conducts the testing. When a product successfully passes the test, the company will be granted the Wi-Fi seal of interoperability and may display the Wi-Fi logo on that product and its corresponding collateral material. Consumers are assured that any product bearing the Wi-Fi logo will work with other Wi-Fi products.
Membership in WECA is open to all companies who support Wi-Fi, the standard for 2.4 GHz wireless LAN products, including any manufacturer that would like to submit its Wi-Fi based product for interoperability testing. WECA now comprises the following 36 members:
Enterasys Networks, A Cabletron Systems Company
EMTAC Technology Corp.
National Datacomm Corporation
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