The Enhanced Wireless Consortium (EWC), a splinter group in the ongoing battle to establish a next-gen 802.11 standard, said it now includes 27 Wi-Fi industry leaders, including Intel, Cisco Systems, Linksys, Broadcom, Marvell and Atheros. EWC officials indicated that the purpose of the consortium is to accelerate the adoption of an IEEE-approved standard for 802.11n, which is expected to deliver throughputs capable of transferring high-definition video while improving battery life and range.

The fact that the EWC has so much support could mean that manufacturers will be comfortable building “pre-802.11n” products immediately that would be ready for the commercial market late next year — sooner than previously expected, said Philip Solis, ABI Research's senior analyst for wireless connectivity.

However, Solis also said the strength of the EWC does not mean that its proposal would be accepted by the IEEE as the 802.11n standard.