802.11n deployment

Unanswered Question
Oct 22nd, 2007

I just want to know, is there any advantages of my deploying a draft-N network at this time? I know a lot of business are slowly moving from their current 802.11a/b/g network to a draft-N network buying draft-N products. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I through these draft-N products are not guarantee to be compatible with the final standard. Wouldn't I just be wasting money on draft-N network it this time?

I have this problem too.
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dennischolmes Mon, 10/22/2007 - 12:21

Over the last couple of years I have followed closely the draft 802.11n standard and as a member of the IEEE Standards Association personally, I can tell you this has been one of the hardest debated standards in the history of the IEEE. There is a lot of money riding on this standard and who wins certain pieces of it. 802.11n unlike most other standards isn't really one standard but several. There are a certain number of minimum benchmarks that must be met by the standard but there are also several optional features that can be supported and still considered 802.11n. To fully understand 802.11n one must understand the history of 802.11 and the earlier standards shortcomings such as multipath distortion and contention rules. One must understand multipath channel distortion and how the 802.11 standard uses multipath to its advantage as well as how the new standard enforces new rules at the mac layer to fully see the benefit of moving to this standard. The standard would not greatly help in free space, but as we live in the real world, free space is not a real issue. In almost any environment we encounter surfaces that create some level of multipath distortion. The presence of this distortion is one way 802.11n increases performance. I have included a white paper for your review. This paper explains the standard and how the increased performances are achieved. Bear in mind that the standard is NOT final but should any major hardware issue be encountered the 1250 is modular and you could switch out the radios. Happy reading.

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nataku316 Mon, 10/22/2007 - 13:07

thanks Dennis, I have read this whitepaper and many others on 802.11n including http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns767/netqa0900aecd806b7c82.html. I guess what I'm trying to say, is there any advantages of my deploying a draft-N network now as oppose to when the final standard is out, I understand that at most the 1250 Series radio modules need to be switched out, but modules are still a lot of money.

dennischolmes Mon, 10/22/2007 - 13:28

I have been telling my customers to do what they think is right for them. I can not in all good conscience suggest a pre standard anything. I do know that Cisco is pretty sure this will be the core final standard. I would suggest if you are worried that you hold off until January and see how the votes turn out. If you started to roll out .11n now, the design process, procurement, and deployment would take at least this long with the holidays coming.


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