Feeds

Wi-Fi: You old new smoothie?

Oblivious IEEE waves through standard for dead dream

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
TEEN RAMPAGE: Kids in iPhone 6 'Will it bend' YouTube 'prank'
iPhones bent in Norwich? As if the place wasn't weird enough
Consumers agree to give up first-born child for free Wi-Fi – survey
This Herod network's ace – but crap reception in bullrushes
Crouching tiger, FAST ASLEEP dragon: Smugglers can't shift iPhone 6s
China's grey market reports 'sluggish' sales of Apple mobe
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.