Rolling up developments in Wi-Fi

By Jay Botelho, director of product marketing, WildPackets, Network World |  Mobile & Wireless, 802.11, wifi

Technology based on 11r is already actively in use, and will become much more common in enterprise WLAN equipment. Even if customers aren't yet utilizing their WLAN for voice or video, they'll want to plan for the future as more and more client equipment (smartphones and tablets) are shipped ready for handoff from cellular networks to WLANs.

* 802.11s: Mesh Networking, Extended Service Set (July 2011). Mesh networking specifies an architecture and protocol to create self-configuring multi-hop wireless networks. These are typically high-performing, scalable, ad hoc networks, often with no wired access at all. Proprietary mesh technology has been in use for years, mainly in the public service/emergency management space where ad hoc local networks need to be set up in an area with little or no wired infrastructure -- basically temporary field networks. 802.11s will help tremendously in standardizing this technology, making it more interoperable and more accessible to wider business applications.

* 802.11u: Interworking with Non-802 Networks (February 2011). This is an extremely hot topic in mobile computing, and one that will continue to get tremendous attention. It also requires solutions to solve some pretty difficult practical problems, including discovery, authentication, authorization and compatibility, across multiple technologies and multiple service providers, hence the delivery of compatible products has been slower than anticipated.

Transition for data delivery is easier and is already fairly widespread. Most smartphones transition automatically from the cellular data network to an 802.11 network once users come into range of a network that has already been configured. Transitioning active telephone calls is much more complicated and much less common, but the need and the desire for products to do so is apparent and it is just a matter of time.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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