802.11. IEEE. 1394. All of these numbers don't mean much to the average consumer, but geeks certainly know 'em. 802.11 is usually used to describe some sort of wireless wave needed to access the world wide web, and in turn, it's highly important. IEEE has chosen CTIA 2012 to announce the publication of IEEE 802.11-2012, which is said to define the tech for next-gen LAN products. The revusion has been expanded significantly by supporting devices and networks that are faster, more secure, while offering improved Quality of Service and, improved cellular network hand-off.
Anyone who purchased a router in the past few years knows all about the a/b/g/n options, but this next-gen protocol will take things even further. According to the entity, the standard's relevance continues to expand with the emergence of new applications, such as the smart grid, which augments the facility for electricity generation, distribution, delivery and consumption with a two-way, end-to-end network for communications and control. Here's a bit more direct from IEEE:
IEEE 802.11 is obviously a standard of tremendous impact for developers and users of Wi-Fi-enabled devices, service providers, the global smart-grid community, manufacturers, healthcare workers and retail service providers around the world," said Phil Solis, research director with ABI Research. "In the 15 years since the standard's original publication, we've seen wireless networking evolve from a curiosity and nice-to-have capability to a must-have feature for doing business in a wide range of industries around the world. It's a capability that today is expected to be embedded in almost any communications device, and it's a service that's expected to be available to employees and customers almost anywhere in the world."
IEEE 802.11 defines one MAC and several PHY specifications for wireless connectivity for fixed, portable and mobile stations. IEEE 802.11-2012 is the fourth revision of the standard to be released since its initial publication in 1997. In addition to incorporating various technical updates and enhancements, IEEE 802.11-2012 consolidates 10 amendments to the base standard that were approved since IEEE 802.11's last full revision, in 2007. IEEE 802.11n™, for example, defined MAC and PHY modifications to enable much higher throughputs, with a maximum of 600Mb/s; other amendments that have been incorporated into IEEE 802.11-2012 addressed direct-link setup, "fast roam," radio resource measurement, operation in the 3650-3700MHz band, vehicular environments, mesh networking, security, broadcast/multicast and unicast data delivery, interworking with external networks and network management.
There's no word on when actual products will begin to ship with the new tech onboard, but given the lag we've seen in prior releases, it'll probably be some time yet.