802.11T puts WLANs to the testBy Fanny MlinarskyBuyers of Wi-Fi equipment and systems must be assured that all products have the performance and stability to carry mission-critical applications and data. However, testing of Wi-Fi, or 802.11, devices and systems for performance and stability is a challenge for the industry because of the complexity of the 802.11 protocol. That is compounded by the inherent mobility of the wireless devices and the prevalence of radio frequency interference.In July 2004, the IEEE formed the IEEE 802.11T Task Group to develop a test specification document, "Recommended Practice for the Evaluation of 802.11 Wireless Performance," expected to be completed in January 2008. By forming the task group, the IEEE has acknowledged the need to provide users with an objective means of evaluating functionality and performance of 802.11 products.The 802.11T document defines test metrics in the context of use cases. The three principal-use cases are data, latency sensitive and streaming media.To learn more about 802.11T and how it works, please click here.Mlinarsky is founder and CTO of Azimuth Systems. She can be reached at email@example.com.