Feeds

Wi-Fi: You old new smoothie?

Oblivious IEEE waves through standard for dead dream

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

The IEEE has formally approved 802.11r, the amendment to the Wi-Fi standard that allows devices to smoothly transition between Wi-Fi hotspots without breaking the flow of conversation.

802.11r allows a mobile device to move smoothly between hotspots, with connections never suspending for more than 50 milliseconds. Inaudible to the human ear which is presumed to be making use of such connectivity, the standard was published last month, but manufacturers are only now starting to show an interest.

It's strange to think that Wi-Fi was once considered a serious threat to mobile telephony, but there was a time when city-spanning Wi-Fi networks promised to carry phone calls for free, if only there was a decent hand-off between cells. 802.11f provides a fast enough hand-off for data services, but that can take a second or two if cryptography is being used, so 802.11r was kicked off in 2004 to provide consistent connections.

These days no one seriously expects Wi-Fi to challenge the network operators, indeed the reverse is more likely to be true, but enterprises might be convinced to deploy VoIP solutions based on Wi-Fi thanks to the new standard.

Earlier this year the Wi-Fi Alliance tried to create interest in using VoIP over Wi-Fi with their "Voice-Personal" certification, which has been largely ignored by VoIP users and manufacturers alike. Now that 802.11r has been completed, the Alliance will likely create some sort of enterprise-level certification that will mandate 802.11r conformance.

As femtocells start to provide the same functionality with less complexity, and cellular networks ramp up speeds to match the real-world performance of Wi-Fi, it's probably time for Wi-Fi to concentrate on the data services it delivers so well and leave voice traffic to the professionals. ®

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
NBN Co execs: No FTTN product until 2015
Faster? Not yet. Cheaper? No data
prev story

Whitepapers

Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.