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One step closer to 802.11n recently published a tip on the promising new draft of IEEE 802.11n, just approved by the 802.11 Working Group, and what its significantly increased bandwidth potential has to offer resellers. The tip’s conclusion, essentially, is that the only drawback we can see at this point regarding the new wireless standard is that nobody’s making equipment that’ll carry 802.11n yet.

Hopefully you’ve had a chance to start planning a transition with your customers already, because the arrival of Draft 2.0-compliant equipment seems to be fast approaching. Wireless network vendor Meru Networks has announced a new line of access points (APs), wireless controllers and software that will be able to carry the estimated 300 Mbps (maximum) data flow.

This is all good news for resellers and integrators as, according to industry expert David Jacobs, the transition too 11n “will require a far more extensive set of equipment replacements than the earlier move from 802.11b to 802.11g.” Where upgrading from 11b to 11g was a (relatively) simple process of replacing APs and interfaces, 11n will frequently demand changes to customers’ entire wireless architecture in order to handle the increased data rate.

To add some perspective to this upgrade, the maximum data rate for standard wireless today (11a,b and g) is a respectable 54 Mbps. The minimum data flow for 11n is two to three times that at 100 to 200 Mbps. Rewriting the DNA of an entire wireless architecture is more than justified with that kind of performance increase. And with Meru Networks’ unveiling of their 11n-compliant line of equipment of software (set to be showcased at Interop later this month), resellers (and their customers) are one step closer to realizing the new standard’s full potential.

~Eric Pierce

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