It’s hard to make predictions, especially about the future.
— Yogi Berra
This completes our picture of the current state of 802.11 networks. In this chapter, we’ll get out a crystal ball and look at where things are heading. First, we’ll look at standards that are currently in the works and close to completion. Then we’ll take a somewhat longer-term look and try to draw conclusions about where wireless networks are heading.
Publication of the 802.11 standard was only the beginning of wireless LAN standardization efforts. Several compromises were made to get the standard out the door, and a great deal of work was deferred for later. The 802.11 working group conducts its business publicly, and anybody can view their web site at http://grouper.ieee.org/ groups/802/11/ to get an update on the progress of any of these revisions to 802.11. As standards development progresses, many task groups post detailed reports, including the results of votes on different proposals.
Revisions to the standard are handled by Task Groups. Task Groups are lettered, and any revisions inherit the letter corresponding to the Task Group. For example, the OFDM PHY was standardized by Task Group A (TGa), and their revision was called 802.11a.
In the time since the publication of the first edition of this book, several standards revisions have been approved. 802.11g put the number 54 on boxes throughout the world. 802.11h made the underlying technology of 802.11a ...