• Hi,

    I see that IEEE 802.11-2012 is out long back. Do we know of the life cycle of the exams? When is the next update expected?

    Currently, I am preparing for CWNA and CWSP. I believe, the basics would not change a lot even though the exams are updated to reflect the new standard.

    Another question is that is it worth flipping through 802.11-2007 and 802.11-2012 pdf documents to gain some additional insight? The material is too huge and the text is not much explanatory though. Are there particular topics that are suggested to be read from these documents?

    Thanks and regards,

    Pravin Goyal

  • Hi Pravin - in general CWNP exams last around three years.  With the ratification of 802.11ac we decided to pull in the update to CWNA and expect to launch it in mid 2014.  No other updates are currently planned for 2014.  I hope that helps. -Brad

  • By Howard - edited: February 25, 2014

    In relation to your question about reading /skimming thru the older versions of the 802.11 Specification, I wouldn't spend much time doing that if I were you  -except see below .   However, if you have space for the older versions, you might keep them around for reference.  I would however,  look through the current specification to get a "lay of the land" so-to-speak.   That will help when you need to look up specifics.

    Having been around since 2007, and read the originals, the most important thing to me is a comparison of what has changed from version to version.  
    Unfortunately, one of the biggest changes is how the different clauses have been renumbered, re-ordered, or eliminated.  I specifically segregated 802.11n information into a seperate document.

    Many documents, including older CWNP materials, were written based upon the original clause numbering.   If you were to read or reference older documents you may get confused trying to locate a particular piece of information.   Companies like Anritsu, Agilent, R&S, etc. also use clause number references and older technical manuals may not have been updated to reflect the new numbering.

    I uploaded a file along with this reply.   I haven't tried this new feature before , so I don't know how well that will work.  But it contains a list of how the clauses were renumbered.   I'm not sure of the source for it.   It may have been generated by Tom Carpenter or Matthew Gast.   It may not help if a particular part of a clause has been reincorporated in multiple locations.   Matthew Gast had created a great series of videos on this very subject.

    When it comes to specific sections of the spec, you'll often find variations with what a particular manufacturer may tell you.   Some of these differences can be important to your specific situation.   In my case, the differences I see relate to specific test methods - for example with Adjacent Channel Rejection tests.   Different test equipment manufacuturers may use different methods to perform this test, yet the results can be equivalent.   It may be important to understand the differences and subtleties between the IEEE specification and your situation.

    Another area where you may find differences, version wise, relate to sensitivity or EVM requirements.  

    For example, my employer (not Cisco) has much higher sensitivity requirements than the standard requires.   BTW, if you want to see some impressive differences, compare the IEEE specifications to current Cisco gear.  

  • Thank you gentlemen for your replies. This helps. 

    @Howard - As you suggested, I will keep the IEEE resources as reference only. I am not very keen on knowing the clauses and the number but rather if IEEE explains a particular topic more precisely, which I believe it does not.

    Thanks again.

  • Pravin,

    If anything, the IEEE specification is much more precise !

    The catch is that there are "holes" in the spec that allow for manufacturers to make, what they hope will be, enhancements. 

    It took several years, and an NDA,  for me to get the details on some "secret sauce".    It's very hard sometimes to get the REAL details of what a manufacturer really does.

    Agreed, knowing the clause numbers no longer helps much, but if you ever have to figure out where something changed, it will help emmensly when trying to find when, where, and how it changed.

  • Thanks Howard for the detailed reply. I appreciate it.

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