The Value of 802.11n for Mobile Clients
Recent white papers from Summit reveal that client devices don't need 802.11n inside to realize big benefits from 802.11n infrastructures.
802.11n is a forthcoming IEEE standard that promises throughput as much as 10 times greater than that available with current Wi-Fi standards. The greater throughput is generating tremendous interest among users of Wi-Fi and even spurring debates on whether or not wireless LANs will become the primary means of network access for typical computer users.
Even though the 802.11n standard will not be finalized and ratified until next year, dozens of models of laptops, home routers, and other products already have radios that are based on a draft of the standard. The Wi-Fi Alliance®, an industry association, is performing product interoperability testing and certification based on the draft standard.
While the throughput benefits of 802.11n are grabbing the headlines, other 802.11n benefits such as improved coverage predictability and greater range are more important to business-critical mobile devices. When an organization deploys an 802.11n wireless networking infrastructure, client devices that support the traditional Wi-Fi standards of 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g realize the non-throughput benefits of 802.11n.
The white papers explain why most mobile device vendors and users can choose to forego today's pre-standard 802.11n radios and stick with proven solutions that support some combination of 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g. The main reason is that, due to the type of network traffic they support, most mobile devices don't need a major throughput boost. What is needed is a wireless LAN connection that is reliable, even when the device user is on the move in an environment that presents connectivity challenges.
Fortunately, 802.11n provides not only increased throughput but also greater range and improved predictability of coverage. The even better news is that non-throughput benefits are available to all Wi-Fi client devices when an organization deploys 802.11n in its network infrastructure.
To view two white papers on 802.11n and mobile clients, click here.
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