Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity™– a key component of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™ – is a Wi-Fi Alliance® certification program that improves mobility and allows users to experience more consistent connections while roaming within and across networks by reducing airtime overhead and enabling faster authentication to the selected access point (AP). Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity™ enables users to experience quality connections throughout their roaming experience, as APs and client devices can exchange information to enable the following key benefits:
Optimized network discovery and selection: Mobile devices and APs employ improved channel scanning techniques to quickly identify potential Wi-Fi® networks available for connection
Link quality assessment: Provides metrics to assist client devices in quickly making decisions about the AP that will deliver the best possible connection based on bidirectional link quality estimation and network topology information
Rapid authentication: Utilizing Fast Initial Link Setup (FILS) Authentication, devices work together to reduce airtime overhead and enable faster authentication to the selected AP or network
Efficient transmissions: Significant reduction in transmission of management frames enables devices to spend less time responding to management information and more time moving user data
Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity in action
A field test determined that devices using key components of Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity improve performance over devices not certified for these technologies. Using Wi-Fi Vantage™ features for enhanced network discovery and advanced roaming, results showed notably improved performance, decreasing setup times by 76 percent and reducing management frame and beacon congestion an average of 70 percent compared to Wi-Fi devices not certified for Wi-Fi Vantage. The service provider conducting the test was able to efficiently manage network resources, accommodate more devices, and deliver higher customer satisfaction. End users experienced faster connections, and more consistent voice and video calls.
Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity features are also key enablers of efficient AP discovery in the 6 GHz band. Wi-Fi 6 APs that simultaneously operate in the 2.4 or 5 GHz band and the 6 GHz band – known as Wi-Fi 6E - transmit a Reduced Neighbor Report element in 2.4 and/or 5 GHz to enable out-of-band discovery of the 6 GHz basic service sets (BSSs). To maximize spectral efficiency and utilization, APs simultaneously operating in multiple bands will disable FILS Discovery frames and unsolicited Probe Response frames in the 6 GHz band by default. APs that are only operating in the 6 GHz band transmit either FILS Discovery frames or unsolicited Probe Response frames to enable efficient on-channel scanning. Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity APs can use the same features to enable efficient discovery of BSSs operating in other bands and channels, especially dynamic frequency selection (DFS) channels that have regulatory restrictions on active scanning.