Despite earlier concerns voiced by chipset manufacturer Airgo that draft 802.11n gear will "degrade" or "disable," current 802.11b/g networks, Linksys claims that it has tested and approved its upcoming suite of draft-n routers and adapters for interoperability with current products on the market. Since 802.11n relies on the multiple channel MIMO technology to deliver higher bandwidths, there has been some speculation that pre-N networks would dominate the spectrum designated for 802.11 communications, even though the draft specification specifically requires so-called mixed mode operation. While it's certainly reassuring to know that Linksys has been working with multiple vendors to ensure that current WiFi gear will perform at "peak levels" in the presence of 802.11n signals, the real test will come when we start seeing actual real-world deployment of these speedy new networks.

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