Wi-Fi Location

Accurate indoor location with Wi-Fi® connectivity

Location is inextricably linked with mobility. Consumers want to know where they are and what is around them, whether indoors or outside. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Location™ delivers meter-level accuracy indoors. Wi-Fi Location-enabled networks and devices work together to deliver accurate location information with the benefits of Wi-Fi connectivity and without the need for separate, location-based infrastructure or costly maintenance.

Wi-Fi Location-enabled devices help network managers, operating systems developers, and applications developers deliver enhanced location data-driven apps and services. Wi-Fi Location certification ensures standards-based interoperability of devices so that developers can provide users the same experiences indoors as they have come to expect outside.

Location beyond navigation

Wi-Fi Location allows self-locating APs to establish accurate indoor locations and enable 6 GHz standard power applications. By using FTM Range Request and Report, client devices can determine their location relative to the broadcasting APs without sharing any information, thus providing great accuracy without compromising privacy. Wi-Fi Location not only improves the accuracy of location data for navigation purposes, it enables the creation of new, feature-rich applications and services. Wi-Fi is pervasive and it is easy to leverage the existing network infrastructure without additional equipment to enable accurate indoor location. Wi-Fi Location benefits industrial, enterprise, retail, and healthcare markets through:

  • Indoor navigation: Wi-Fi Location is accurate to below one meter and provides several updates per second
  • Asset management: Tracking high-value mobile equipment
  • Network management: Pinpointing where troubleshooting and maintenance is needed
  • Geo-fencing: Creating virtual perimeters that trigger actions when devices move in or out of the boundary
  • Self-locating APs: Wi-Fi Location allows self-locating APs to establish accurate indoor locations and enable 6 GHz standard power applications
  • Emergency services: Wi-Fi Location’s ability to locate using civic address as well as floor number has the potential to aid emergency service response time
Wi-Fi Alliance News See All
The Signal Podcast
Episode 24: Looking toward the future of Wi-Fi Location™ with Rolf de Vegt of Qualcomm
Episode 22: Optimizing retail conversion and sustainability through Wi-Fi Location™ with Staffan Liljestrand of Bumbee Labs
Additional Resources
Frequently Asked Questions
  • How does Wi-Fi Location identify a device location?

    Wi-Fi Location primarily uses ranging through the Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) protocol to locate a device within a network. A mobile device can use the FTM Range Request and Report to determine its distance from an infrastructure device such as an access point (AP). This allows the mobile device to locate itself on a floorplan map or in global coordinates.

  • Does my phone have to be associated with an access point on a network to determine location?

    With Wi-Fi Location, a mobile device does not need a layer 2 or layer 3 connection with an access point (AP) to determine its location. Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) frames can be transmitted in pre-association mode once an FTM session is negotiated between a mobile device and an AP.

  • Must both client and network devices be Wi-Fi Location enabled for Wi-Fi Location to work?

    To gain the level of accuracy that Wi-Fi Location delivers, both devices in a measurement exchange should be certified for Wi-Fi Location.

  • How many infrastructure devices are needed to accurately determine a device’s relative location?

    A device usually makes use of trilateration to determine its relative location. In most cases three devices are sufficient for calculating location unless the placement of access points (AP) are aligned or are co-located.

  • Is Wi-Fi Location power efficient?

    Wi-Fi Location helps mobile devices conserve power by allowing a device to negotiate the scheduling and operational parameters for a Fine Timing Measurement (FTM) session, including the FTM burst interval, frequency and bandwidth of these transmissions, and number of frames in every burst.

Wi-Fi Alliance Member Publications
Qualcomm Wi-Fi Ranging: Delivering ranging and location technologies of tomorrow today
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.