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Showdown Coming on Ethernet Standard for Faster Wi-Fi

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(Computer World) – There’s a standard in the works for Ethernet gear to feed faster Wi-Fi access points, but with rival industry groups pushing two different specifications, it might take a while to finish.

Wi-Fi is getting fast enough that Gigabit Ethernet can’t keep up with the most advanced access points, which use 802.11ac Wave 2 technology. Users could go to 10-Gigabit Ethernet, but for most that would require installing more advanced cable. So the search is on forsomething in between that works on the most common kinds of cable over at least 100 meters.

Most likely you’ll have a choice of 2.5Gbps (bits per second) and 5Gbps, and there’s no debate there. Some vendors have already announced components and designs for such products, but there’s no guarantee that systems built with parts from the two camps will work together. Enterprises want to be able to mix and match gear from any vendor they like, so the official IEEE group for Ethernet standards voted last month to form a task group to set a standard.

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