Current Work Areas
To enhance Wi-Fi performance in dense and congested environments such as airports, train stations, stadiums, malls, public transportation, and citywide Wi-Fi, 802.11ax provides a superior user experience for high demand applications such as streaming video, Virtual Private Network access to offices, and video conferencing in crowded heterogeneous networks with heavy user-loaded access points.
Applications Service Platform 2.0
As Wi-Fi® technology continues to increase in both feature set and technical complexity, there is a clear need for a common platform where the interoperability of essential underlying capabilities can be maintained. Members of Wi-Fi Alliance are investigating a certification program that will build upon the application service platform functionality originally provided as part of the optional features added to Wi-Fi Direct® in 2014, resulting in a reusable, modular platform that existing and future Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ programs can easily adopt.
A working group has been formed to study coexistence mechanisms enabling shared use of unlicensed spectrum and to define Wi-Fi network baseline performance evaluation. The group is exploring key aspects of coexistence from a Wi-Fi perspective, and fair and equal access to the medium.
Converged Wireless, with CTIA®
The growth in converged mobile devices that include both cellular and Wi-Fi technology created a need to characterize the RF behavior of devices. Building on benchmarking tests introduced in 2007, Wi-Fi Alliance members are exploring further benchmarking of the Wi-Fi RF properties of a device when the device is operating solely on a Wi-Fi network, or operating simultaneously on Wi-Fi and cellular networks, with the goal of providing practices to help both vendors and operators create an optimal user experience. This task group operates jointly with CTIA.
Dedicated Short Range Communications
Networked transportation systems are becoming a major concern in the automotive industry. A member task group is developing certification requirements for Dedicated Short Range Communications (DSRC), based on the IEEE 802.11p specification. Program development is limited primarily to vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications, for the purpose of collision avoidance.
Device Provisioning Protocol
With the increase in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices available, end users have the ability to add a more diverse set of devices to their Wi-Fi networks, including a growing range of devices that do not have a rich user interface. Wi-Fi Alliance Device Provisioning Protocol will enhance the user experience with a simple, secure, and consistent method for on- and off-boarding any type of device on a Wi-Fi network.
Installing Wi-Fi in new homes can be challenging, sometimes resulting in a mismatch between actual coverage and home owner expectations. The Home Experience group is exploring a certification program to ensure whole home coverage, and defining criteria to deliver a great user experience in new home installations.
With the growing footprint of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED infrastructure available in enterprises and public environments, Wi-Fi Alliance members have begun to investigate a certification program addressing location. This technology and certification program will establish a common mechanism for determining location in the vicinity of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED APs, positioning Wi-Fi-enabled location as the interoperable indoor location technology for users and venue administrators across products from a range of brands.
Demand for multimedia over Wi-Fi networks is being fuelled by the continued development of more powerful smartphones and tablets and a growing assortment of real-time applications that encourage users to consume multimedia when connected to Wi-Fi networks. Consumers are accustomed to the multimedia user experience available on wired devices and cellular networks. Wi-Fi Alliance members are investigating a certification program that will continue to improve the user experience for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices that are multimedia capable when connected to Wi-Fi networks deployed in public hotspots, enterprise environments, and residential homes.
Members of Wi-Fi Alliance have formed a task group to explore technology and certification requirements to improve Wi-Fi network performance through the efficient use of available frequency bands, channels and network infrastructure. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED infrastructure and client devices will exchange information to enable intelligent band selection decisions, including capability to steer clients to the cellular network when appropriate. The task group will define mechanisms that are applicable to available frequency bands, and which may be extended to include additional bands as they come into use.
Optimized Connectivity Experience
Fixed, mobile, and hotspot operators around the globe are deploying Wi-Fi in business models tailored to fit their unique needs. Members of Wi-Fi Alliance have formed a task group to explore technology and certification requirements to deliver a better user experience in managed network environments with a high density of active or connected devices. Managed networks based on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED equipment will take advantage of systemic information to shorten connection setup, reduce airtime overhead, optimize transitions, and improve roaming performance.
Pre-Association Infrastructure Service Discovery
Members of Wi-Fi Alliance have formed a task group to explore the potential requirements of a certification program extending the existing Wi-Fi Alliance Applications Services Platform (ASP) functionality used in Wi-Fi Direct to perform Pre-Association Service Discovery of services available on Wi-Fi infrastructure networks using the IEEE 802.11aq (Pre-Association Discovery) amendment currently being developed within IEEE 802.11.
With the overarching importance of the need for secure computing environments, Wi-Fi Alliance members are addressing how to ensure Wi-Fi CERTIFIED security mechanisms maintain effective security controls within the Wi-Fi protocol suite. Wi-Fi Alliance is specifically addressing known security weaknesses resulting from users selecting weak passwords and meeting emerging needs in security-sensitive markets for support of additional cryptographic algorithms and policies, such as those specified in Suite-B.
Timing Measurement and Synchronization
The emerging market for wireless devices supporting time synchronization currently suffers from a lack of a standards-based interoperable mechanism, resulting in a fragmented market. Wi-Fi Alliance members are investigating a certification program that establishes a time synchronization mechanism in order to provide coordination for scenarios where a singular task is being performed by a set of distributed Wi-Fi CERTIFIED wireless devices, such as synchronization of audio streams to multiple speakers or collection of time-stamped data from multiple sensors.
The developing IEEE 802.11ah standard will extend Wi-Fi’s usefulness for new device categories and applications with very constrained power requirements and need for long-range connectivity. Members of Wi-Fi Alliance have formed a task group to investigate requirements for an interoperability certification program based on this upcoming standard, which uses unlicensed spectrum below 1 GHz. Extended Range ah technology complements traditional Wi-Fi with longer range, the capability to connect more devices to an access point, and lower power requirements, while maintaining the IP connectivity and government-grade security inherent in Wi-Fi today.
Wi-Fi Serial Bus
Wi-Fi Alliance members are investigating certification of a Wi-Fi Serial Bus (WSB) solution with the goal delivering a ubiquitous Wi-Fi USB solution for inter-device connectivity. This technology and corresponding certification is designed to allow users to replace their cables and connect peripherals to their PCs or handheld devices with the ease and confidence of their current wired solution.
Industry Segment Focused Groups
Wi-Fi Alliance members have formed several task groups to focus on the technology needs of specific industry groups. Currently active groups are focused on the following segments:
Wi-Fi Alliance members from across the automotive ecosystem work together to identify and define automotive segment needs and use cases for current and future Wi-Fi technology. The group examines new standards and technologies, and acts as the focal point for developing best practices for Wi-Fi implementation in the automotive market.
Wi-Fi is a widely adopted wireless access technology in both the home and hospital healthcare segments, as well as an ever-expanding footprint in the growing healthcare and wearable wireless market segments. The healthcare segment group focuses on improving Wi-Fi Alliance visibility into healthcare industry activities in both the clinical and personal segments.
Internet of Things
Wi-Fi Alliance members focus on gathering Wi-Fi market needs and use cases for the burgeoning Internet of Things connected marketplace and provide IoT-focused certification guidance. This forum provides an opportunity for IoT solution providers to input suggestions, insights and end-user feedback to the Wi-Fi industry.
A group of Wi-Fi Alliance members interested in operator Wi-Fi networks meets to outline the specific needs for Wi-Fi in the service provider marketplace. This group defines requirements that align with operators’ needs, and provides operator perspective to other task groups and across the Wi-Fi Alliance collaboration forum.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WiGig products will enable a new class of multimedia, networking, and computing applications by achieving multi-gigabit data rates and highly efficient connections between nearby devices. Operating in the higher 60 GHz frequency band, WiGig technology is ideal for line-of-site connections and high-density environments.
Wi-Fi Alliance is upgrading the popular Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast program with improvements to the audio and video performance to enable new markets like automotive, high-performance gaming and high-end home entertainment. Miracast provides a rich audio/video experience, yet is easy to use and available on an ever-increasing number of popular devices. With Miracast, you can show content, including protected content, on your smartphone or tablet on your Wi-Fi-connected TV and connect your PC to a projector without cables or even a Wi-Fi network. Miracast is a wireless media enhancer that transforms a solo video experience into a larger multi-person performance.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint launched in 2012 as an industry-wide solution to streamline network access in hotspots and eliminate the need for users to find and authenticate a network each time they connect. In Wi-Fi networks that do not support Passpoint, users must search for and choose a network, request the connection to the access point (AP) each time, and in many cases, must re-enter their authentication credentials. Passpoint automates that entire process, enabling a seamless connection between hotspot networks and mobile devices, all while delivering the highest WPA2™ security. Passpoint is enabling a more cellular-like experience when connecting to Wi-Fi networks.
New features made available in Passpoint improve the Wi-Fi experience with the addition of an online sign-up mechanism that provides a standard way for users to create new accounts and provision devices on the spot. Additionally, these new features enable mobile, fixed-line, and hotspot operators to more easily add new subscribers and support operator-specific subscriber policies.
Wi-Fi Aware is an exciting new capability of Wi-Fi which enables power-efficient discovery of nearby information and services before making a connection. Wi-Fi Aware makes it easy to find services available in the area that match preferences set by the user, and is optimized to work well even in crowded environments. Wi-Fi Aware is a key enabler of a personalized social, local, and mobile experience, enabling users to find video gaming opponents, share media content, and access localized information all before establishing a connection.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac is the first generation of Wi-Fi that can deliver gigabit/sec data rates, and the program continues to innovate with the addition of significant new technology. Multi-user MIMO is the next breakthrough, allowing more devices to transfer more data over the same network. Coupled with evolutionary speed improvements, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac delivers performance and capacity for today’s demanding applications – and the products and services yet to come.