Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM Programs

Today’s Wi-Fi® networks carry a heavy load of real-time data applications - especially voice and video – which means low tolerance for latency, packet loss, and jitter. Wi-Fi Alliance® has several certification programs that enable Wi‑Fi networks to optimize performance by managing the requirements on different types of traffic and ensure the best user experience in home, enterprise, and hotspot environments.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM®

Introduced in 2004, Wi-Fi Alliance added quality of service (QoS) functionality in Wi‑Fi networks. With WMM, network administrators and residential users can assign higher priority to real-time traffic such as voice and video, while assigning other data traffic to either best-effort or background priority levels.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM-Power Save

Introduced in 2005, WMM-Power Save improves the battery life of mobile devices and increases the efficiency of transmission of voice calls over Wi‑Fi networks.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM-Admission Control

Introduced in 2012, WMM-Admission Control further improves the performance of Wi‑Fi networks for real-time data such as voice and video.  It improves the reliability of applications in progress by preventing oversubscription of bandwidth. WMM-Admission Control accomplished this by enhancing the prioritization of traffic using the access categories introduced by WMM (i.e., voice, video, best effort data, and background data) by using bandwidth management to take into account network load and channel conditions.

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Frequently Asked Questions
  • Do devices with WMM-Admission Control work with legacy devices?

    To benefit from WMM-Admission Control functionality, both the AP and client device need to be Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM-Admission Control. Any Wi-Fi CERTIFIED client devices in a WMM-Admission Control network that do not support WMM-Admission Control will operate as usual in WMM mode, but won’t use the access categories for which admission control is mandated by the AP.

  • How does WMM-Admission Control relate to the Voice-Enterprise program?

    WMM-Admission Control certification is required for the Voice-Enterprise certification program.

  • Where is WMM-Admission Control used?

    On a Wi-Fi network with a dense Wi-Fi deployment designed to support heavy traffic loads, such as an enterprise campus, hospital or educational campus, WMM-Admission Control helps ensure that the network can support good quality voice calls before admitting the voice call traffic stream, and assigns it priority over other traffic, such as downloads, email, and other best effort traffic.

  • How does WMM-Admission Control work?

    WMM-Admission Control used IEEE 802.11 management frames for the signaling between the AP and the client device.  The AP evaluates the request frame from the client device against the network load and channel conditions.  If the AP can accommodate the request, it accepts the request and grants the client the medium time for the traffic stream.  If the request is rejected, the client device is not allowed to initiate the requested traffic stream, and may decide to either delay the traffic stream, associate with a different AP, or establish a best-effort traffic stream outside the operation of WMM-Admission Control.

  • How does Wi-Fi Alliance help ensure product compatibility and a good user experience for certified products?

    This is achieved through rigorous testing of Wi-Fi products that are based on the 802.11 standards. Consumers should always look for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo to ensure the best user experience possible.

  • Are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products protected by security?

    Yes. All Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products are tested for the latest generation of Wi-Fi security: WPA2 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 2). The only way to be sure that product meets these standards is to only purchase Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products.

  • Is WMM compliant with IEEE standards?

    Wi-Fi Alliance defined WMM as a profile of the IEEE 802.11e Quality of Service (QoS) extensions for 802.11 networks and started a certification program for WMM to satisfy the most urgent needs of the industry for a QoS solution for Wi-Fi networks. WMM provides prioritized media access and is based on the Enhanced Distributed Channel Access (EDCA) method.

  • Is WMM-Power Save based upon IEEE 802.11e?

    WMM-Power Save uses mechanisms from the IEEE 802.11e standard.

  • What impacts the variance in power savings?

    The power conservation achieved depends on the particular application in use, as well as how effectively the application uses WMM-Power Save. The Wi-Fi Alliance has produced a white paper which offers guidance to application developers.

  • What is WMM?

    Wi-Fi CERTIFIED for WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) provides multimedia enhancements for Wi-Fi networks that improve the user experience for audio, video, and voice applications.

  • How does a user turn on WMM-Power Save?

    If implemented correctly, WMM-Power Save will activate automatically when a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WMM-Power Save client device is communicating with a Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ for WMM-Power Save access point. There is no action needed from a user.

  • How much battery life improvement does WMM-Power Save provide?

    Wi-Fi Alliance estimates that WMM-Power Save can provide from 15 to 40% improvement in battery life depending on the application characteristics.

  • How does WMM-Power Save work?

    WMM-Power Save increases the efficiency and flexibility of data transmission. Specifically, the client device can doze between packets to save power, while the access point buffers downlink frames. The application chooses the time to wake up and receive data packets to maximize power conservation without sacrificing Quality of Service.

  • How does WMM-Power Save compare to legacy 802.11 Power Save?

    WMM-Power Save is a more finely tuned power save mechanism which draws on a variety of tools to manage power consumption. In legacy power save, the driver decided when to transmit data, while in WMM-Power Save, the application makes the determination about when to transfer data. This enables customization of the power mechanism to the particular application (e.g., Voice over Wi-Fi, video gaming, etc.). WMM-Power Save is backwards-compatible with legacy power save.

  • How does WMM prioritize traffic?

    WMM shortens the time between transmitting packets for higher priority traffic.

  • How does WMM enable multimedia applications?

    Without Quality of Service (QoS), all applications running on different devices have equal opportunity to transmit data frames. That works well for data traffic from applications such as web browsers, file transfers, or email, but it is inadequate for multimedia applications. Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), video streaming, and interactive gaming are highly sensitive to latency increases and throughput reductions, and require QoS. WMM defines four access categories (voice, video, best effort, and background) that are used to prioritize traffic to provide enhanced multimedia support.