Wipro sets up Wi-Fi pre-certification center

Indian outsourcer Wipro Tuesday announced that it has been selected by the Wi-Fi Alliance to set up a pre-certification test lab that will help vendors of Wi-Fi devices prepare for final certification by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

The test lab set up in Bangalore by Wipro is the third Wi-Fi pre-certification lab worldwide authorized by the Wi-Fi Alliance, Frank Hanzlik, managing director of the Wi-Fi Alliance told reporters in Bangalore. The other two labs are in Taiwan and in the U.S., he added.

Pre-certification testing allows Wi-Fi Alliance member companies to test Wi-Fi devices and troubleshoot problems before entering the formal process of getting the device Wi-Fi certified, Hanzlik said.

The Wi-Fi Alliance in Austin, Texas is a global, nonprofit industry association with more than 250 member companies. Its main activity is testing and certification of products for compliance with Wi-Fi specifications to enable interoperability of Wi-Fi devices, Hanzlik said. The Alliance currently has ten independent test labs worldwide that are authorized to offer final Wi-Fi certification for products, he said.

Future specifications currently being developed by the Wi-Fi Alliance include Wi-Fi Protected Setup, which will ease set up of encryption and security on home networks, Hanzlik said. That will be released later this year. Finalization of the specification for 802.11n, a faster and longer range version of 802.11, has however been delayed. A number of vendors are already shipping 802.11n devices based on a draft of the standard, raising questions about interoperability.

The market for Wi-Fi devices is expected to reach about 450 to 700 million units by 2010, up from about 125 million Wi-Fi devices shipped last year, according to Hanzlik.

The Wi-Fi pre-certification lab adds to Wipro’s current portfolio of testing services, said Suresh Vaswani, president of global IT services lines at Wipro. Wipro earned about $57 million in revenue from its testing services business in the quarter ended June 30, up by about 80 percent from revenue in the same quarter a year ago. The company, which employs 5,500 staff in its testing services business, offers services such as enterprise software testing, embedded software testing and full device testing.

“A customer can come to Wipro for development and pre-certification of their Wi-Fi product or for the pre-certification testing alone,” Vaswani said. About 10% of the company’s testing revenue comes from clients who only do testing with Wipro. Most client engagements include development and maintenance as well.

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