• Over the last few months, there have been several announcements about companies joining the Chinese wireless market [u]for voice[/u] devices.

    By Chinese law, these devices will implement only " WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure" (WAPI) - no EAP or WPA, etc.

    Does anyone have any new information on this?

    For example:
    - Have any of these manufacturers started working on other WAPI wireless products for the Chinese markets ?

    - Whats their experience been interacting with the "approved" Chinese companies fabricating the encryption hardware ?

    - Is there any sign of the government there softening on its WAPI only stance ?

    I have heard of other WLAN devices being smuggled in, and that it is fairly easy to do, but nothing other than that.

    Anyone? Thanks.

  • The Chinese regulatory body requires that WLAN devices sold in China support the WAPI besides Wi-Fi. A good example is the iPhone 4. The current Wi-Fi iPhone 4 can't enter the Chinese market until they support the WAPI. Say, the future Chinese-version iPhone 4 will be dual-mode enabled: Wi-Fi and WAPI.

    Smuggled iPhone seems to get more popular before, but customers will no doubt welcome the dual-mode iPhone with more apps. Chinese engineers are currently developing some amazing apps for the Chinese-version iPhone 4.

    Atheros has already announced that it will support the higher-rate WAPI-1108 standard in its WLAN production line: AR6003, AR928x, AR922x, AR9271 and all of future WLAN products.

    Refer to the [url=]brochure of AR6003[/url] if interested.

  • Some of the claims in that PDF seem contradictory. I'll have to look at them more tomorrow.

    Regardless of the Atheros details, I'm glad to see they are supporting the single stream market. I'm sure my company will join that in the next couple of years too.

    I hadn't seen anywhere that WAPI and any of the normal Wi-Fi encryption schemes could both be in one device. I thought it was WAPI [u]only[/u] in China. From everything I had read, WAPi and EAP are incompatible.

    I know that Motorola and 3com are also diving into the China-WAPI market.

    What I'm concerned about is trying to stuff two incompatible authentication methods into the same device.

  • Got some interesting news this week about WAPI - the Chinese encryption standard. It is now deployed in China on all "public" services, especially cell phone networks.

    It's not required on private wirless networks, but then if you have a Laptop, etc. and want to use it outside its normal spce, you'll need WAPI. Atheros and Marvell support it. I'm betting Broadcom does too. It doesn't look like stationary things like printers, etc. will be required to support it.

    Potentially this could be an even bigger deal in the future, as the original plan was that all devices sold [u]or manufactured[/u] in China had to have WAPI installed. The Chinese government backed off on this requirement, but I could bet that one day they will again.

    Hopefully the companies that have moved their production to China, won't be too surprized when this happens.

    If you have any more information on WAPI's spread, I'l like to hear about it.

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