The Wi-Fi Alliance on Monday said eight labs in Spain, Taiwan, Japan and the U.S. started testing 802.11n Draft 2.0 products for interoperability across vendors, adherence to Wi-Fi Protected Access or WPA2 security protocols, and backward compatibility with 802.11 a/b/g products. The 802.11n standard promises to increase transfer speed of wireless networks to about 600Mb/s, and deliver up to two times the range of products based on previous standards.

"With the advancements offered by 802.11n, Wi-Fi takes center stage as a key technology for networked digital home applications such as streaming high-definition video and interactive gaming," said Kurt Scherf, VP and principal analyst with Parks Associates. "Because Wi-Fi is so easy to use, and certification means different brands of gear work together, we expect the momentum to continue. There will be substantial implementation of 802.11n Wi-Fi in certain consumer electronics products."
Although 802.11n products have been available for months, none of them is certified for security and interoperability with past generations of Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi Alliance expects 802.11n Draft 2.0 products with its seal of approval to be on the market before September. Meanwhile, the IEEE is working on a final 802.11n specification expected to be finished by March 2009.