Dell launches unapproved 802.11n Wi-Fi card

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Dell launches unapproved 802.11n Wi-Fi card

Next generation Wi-Fi still awaiting rattification.

Dell has launched a wireless card that promises to boost network speeds to 270 Mbps.

The card will be available as an optional expansion on XPS and select Inspiron notebooks for US$59.

The Dell Wireless 1500 Draft 802.11n dual-band wireless card offers backward compatibility with the existing 802.11a, b and g wireless standards. The card is made by Broadcom.

The computer maker touted that the high speed wireless technology would enable new applications such as online gaming and high definition video streaming.

The 802.11n technology is considered the next generation Wi-Fi. It aims to increase network transmission rates from the current 54Mbps to 600Mbps while increasing the technology's range.

The standard however is still under reviewed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and the final standard isn't expected to be ready until 2007.

Lacking ratification by the standards body, Dell is unable to guarantee interoperability of its 802.11n technology with 'draft-compliant' access points and client devices.

Gartner earlier this year has cautioned users to stay clear of equipment that claims to be 802.11n compliant.

"Plan to stay with Wi-Fi certified products under the 802.11a/b/g banner. Expect these technology investments to be good for at least four more years," a group of three Gartner analysts recommended last January, adding that 802.11n should not be considered until 2007.

The analyst firm at the time dismissed compatibility claims by 802.11n vendors as "misleading" and "premature".

Several vendors currently market 802.11n equipement, including D-Link, Linksys, Marvell and Netgear .
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