Talk about jumping on the bandwagon! Sunnyvale, CA-based SiBEAM, a company developing gigabit wireless technology, sat on the fence for a long while but yesterday said it had joined the Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC). The EWC was formed in the summer when it appeared that TGn Sync and WWiSE, the two rival coalitions offering different proposals for the 802.11n standard, were close to agreeing on a joint proposal. A group of companies led by Atheros, Broadcoam and Intel rushed to offer a third standard proposal, the main purpose of which was to limit the ability of Airgo, an early MIMO developer, to benefit from a MIMO-based 802.11n proposal. EWC now has 36 member companies.
Word on the street is that even if TGn Sync and WWiSE were able to cobble together a joint proposal, and even if the IEEE task group were to ratify it in its January meeting, EWC members would still forge ahead with their own standard and begin to offer products based on it toward the end of the second quarter of 2006. The EWC-inspired 802.11n standard and the IEEE-backed one will then fight each other for market acceptance and dominance. In light of EWC's subversive origins, SiBEAM VP John Marshall's words sound eerily Orwellian: "SiBEAM believes in the adoption of standards to ensure the highest level of vendor interoperability for customers."
For more on SiBEAM's move:
- see this press release