The wireless standard that won't go away

Bruce Einhorn

Give credit to the electronics mandarins in Beijing. When it comes to jump starting a home-grown tech standard for mobile computing, they refuse to take no for an answer. Two years ago, the regulators tried to make a Made-in-China wireless LAN standard, called WAPI (for Wired Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure), the one and only such standard allowed in China. American companies like Intel, which would have had to team up with Chinese companies in order to sell WAPI equipment in China, raised a stink and eventually the Chinese government backed down. But WAPI didn't die. According to a report in EE Times, the Chinese have tried to get WAPI approved by the International Organization for Standardization. The ISO has said no, preferring instead IEEE's 802.11i. Yet WAPI still isn't dead, with a new Chinese consortium to promote it announced last week.

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