On July 8, 2002, the Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance (WECA) announced that it has begun certification testing for IEEE 802.11a wireless LAN products in its North American certification laboratory based in San Jose, California.
"People have come to trust Wi-Fi Certified products because they work with each other, regardless of vendor. This is a standard that we need to maintain and it starts with the foundation of the Wi-Fi interoperability testing procedure," said Dennis Eaton, WECA's Chairman. "One key testing foundation is WECA's fundamental belief that several different products need to be available, based on more than one chipset, to begin testing. Although IEEE 802.11a technology-based products have been available for a while, the requirement for multiple chipset providers has only recently been met. The beginning of this testing is also particularly exciting because it moves us closer to dual band interoperability testing of products that support both standards," continued Eaton.
"There are currently over a dozen products in the first round of testing and they are based on three independent chipsets. As this is the first round of testing, it will take longer to finalize the test bed and refine the testing procedure than for subsequent rounds of testing. We expect the first certified products to be announced in the fourth quarter of this year," Eaton added.
The Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance is a nonprofit organization formed in 1999 to certify interoperability of Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11 products and to promote them as the global, wireless LAN standard across all market segments.
WECA has instituted a test suite that defines how member products are tested to certify that they are interoperable with other Wi-Fi Certified products. These tests are conducted at an independent laboratory.
Membership in WECA is open to all companies that support the 802.11 family of standards. WECA now comprises over 150 members that offer over 370 Wi-Fi Certified products from the world's leading companies.