There's a comprehensive update of the long-raging Wireless Wars at the IEEE site right now, written by Greg Goth, and aptly titled This Little Standard Went to Market; This Little Standard Blew Up. Those wars, you may recall, have been raging for years. Most recently, attention has focused on a new and hotly-contested wireless personal area network standard intended not to replace WiFi, but to allow other types of devices – like stereo equipment – to be connected wirelessly. IEEE chartered the 802.15.3a short-range universal serial bus (USB) standard task group to create a specification to satisfy this need, and many were the proposals offered by the task group participants to serve as a basis for that specification. Although those many proposals were eventually winnowed down to two, the task group ultimately gave up in January of this year, when the final two warring camps couldn't agree on a compromise
And then there is the 802.20 long-range mobile wireless standard, which will provide a long-range equivalent to WiFi. The IEEE itself shut down that task group last June to conduct an investigation, after charges of conflict of interest and favoritism on the part of the chair, as well as stacking the vote by some members, were leveled. The IEEE standards board conducted an investigation, and found “a lack of transparency, possible ‘dominance,’ and other irregularities in the Working Group.”
I've written about each of these battles frequently over the years, dedicating the March issue of the Consortium Standards Bulletin to Standards Wars generally, and to the wireless heat-butting in particular, as well as writing a number of blog entries that you can find here. You can also find a file of over a hundred news articles on the same topic here. Most of these battles have played out in, or around, the IEEE, and in particular within the 802 technical committee, which manages protocol development for local and metropolitan area networks.