The Wi-Fi Alliance (Mountain View, Calif.) announced that its Wi-Fi product-certification program is now three years old; certification began in March of 2000.
“This has been an amazing three years for Wi-Fi,” said Dennis Eaton, chairman of the Wi-Fi Alliance. “As with any new technology, we had high expectations for Wi-Fi’s growth potential. However, what happened turned out to be nothing short of amazing: Not only has Wi-Fi grown beyond our expectations, it has turned out to be a rallying point for entrepreneuers, large technology companies and grass-root organizations. Looking back on this experience, it is clear that true interoperability and open standards were a key component of Wi-Fi’s success. What made it even more remarkable was that this took place during one of the most significant downturns in the history of the technology industry.
“Certainly,” Eaton continued, “the increased number and diversity of Wi-Fi products is one indicator of Wi-Fi’s evolution, but more importantly, entirely new industry segments based on Wi-Fi technology, like public access, have emerged. Another measure is that only two years ago, less than 5 percent of laptops were shipped with Wi-Fi built in. This year, we expect greater than 50 percent will ship with Wi-Fi, and an even higher percentage is anticipated in the future.”
The Wi-Fi Alliance was formed in August of 1999 by 3COM, Aironet (now Cisco), Lucent Technologies (now Agere), Intersil, Nokia and Symbol Technologies for the purpose of certifying interoperability of 802.11b products. Shortly thereafter, the Wi-Fi Alliance coined the term “Wi-Fi” to indicate that products had passed the organization’s interoperability-certification program.
For more, visit www.wi-fi.org.