What is WMM?

What is WMM?

Wi-Fi Multimedia, represented by the acronym WMM, is related to Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM® programs. These optional certifications provide multimedia enhancements for Wi-Fi networks that improve the user experience for audio, video, and voice applications.



  • Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac: dual-band, interoperable, high-performance Wi-Fi®
  • Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Miracast™: Your Content - Now Showing on Screens Everywhere

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the benefit of MU-MIMO?

MU-MIMO is an innovative breakthrough that enables simultaneous communication to multiple devices, improving overall speed and enabling network multitasking.

How can I upgrade my device to use wave 2 features?

Upgrading devices to use wave 2 features is implementation dependent. Some devices can be upgraded through software, but most will require new hardware.

What performance advances are enabled by Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac?

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac enables higher data rates, higher capacity and lower latency.  Products implementing the technology behind Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac with wave 2 features are capable of multi-gigabit data rates– nearly triple that of devices implementing only wave 1 features.

What new applications are enabled with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac?

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac handles today’s demanding applications and paves the way for new applications in the future.  Certified-ac devices are more robust and offer a greater user experience including:

  • Transferring an HD movie to a tablet in under 4 minutes
  • Sharing photo albums with friends in seconds
  • Streaming three HD quality videos at one time

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac devices also improve wireless performance in the enterprise in the following ways:

  • Enhanced user experience for teleconference meetings
  • Delivering greater in-office networking coverage – more clients for the same number of APs per office area
  • Projecting graphics, video and audio to a large screen in a conference room or auditorium

Are Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac devices dual-band?

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac operates in the 5 GHz band, but devices support the 2.4 GHz band by integrating Wi-Fi CERTIFIED n.  Dual-band devices switch between the more crowded but popular 2.4 GHz frequency band, to the cleaner 5 GHz frequency band to connect more demanding applications and avoid interference from other devices.

Is Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac interoperable with previous versions of Wi-Fi?

As with all Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ac products are tested to ensure interoperability with legacy Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products. Products must operate in the same frequency band in order to connect.

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?

Compatibility and quality are achieved through testing of Wi-Fi products. 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?

As of July 1, 2020, all new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices require WPA3. The only way to be sure that a product meets the latest security standards is to purchase only Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products.

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.

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.

Is WMM-Power Save based upon IEEE 802.11e?

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

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.

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.

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 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.

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 prioritize traffic?

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