Wi-Fi Alliance® optimizes Wi-Fi® mobility experience

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity ensures users are always best connected

Austin, Texas – March 3, 2021 – Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity improves mobility and allows users to experience more consistent connections while roaming within and across Wi-Fi® networks, and between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. The Wi-Fi Alliance® certification program ensures users a best-connected experience by optimizing the process of discovering Wi-Fi networks, selecting access points (APs), and reducing airtime overhead to enable faster authentication. New features now available for Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity™ deliver new metrics that further improve access point and network selection, and provide consistent discovery mechanisms for the 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz bands. Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity enhancements address new use cases and performance expectations, helping optimize the connectivity experience for a variety of real-time and interactive applications and allowing seamless service continuity with network transitions to and from cellular.

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity enables APs and user devices to exchange information, enabling 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
  • Improved AP selection: APs advertise metrics to assist client devices to accurately estimate link quality for network selection and roaming decisions
  • Rapid authentication: Using 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 enables users to experience quality connections throughout their entire roaming experience and ensures users are always best connected,” said Kevin Robinson, SVP of Marketing, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi users expect greater mobility with their devices and this core program brings a more seamless connectivity experience across networks, while opening new opportunities for service providers to increase network coverage while providing high-level service.”

Metrics now available in Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity further improve a client’s ability to determine when and to which AP or network it should roam to ensure the device is always best connected. Additionally, Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity features are key enablers of efficient access point discovery in the 6 GHz band. Wi-Fi 6E APs that simultaneously operate in the 2.4 or 5 GHz band and the 6 GHz band 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). APs that are only operating in the 6 GHz band transmit FILS Discovery 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.

Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity is a key component of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Vantage™, providing core capabilities that allow the program to deliver an elevated experience in managed Wi-Fi networks. For more information on Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity, please visit: https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-optimized-connectivity.

Industry support for Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity:

“Airties is proud to support Wi-Fi Alliance’s new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program, which is aimed at improving user experience while moving in managed Wi-Fi networks. Home Wi-Fi conditions are constantly changing throughout the day, requiring dynamic, real-time optimization to ensure excellent performance on every device. As such, we advise our service providers’ customers to adopt hybrid cloud-edge architectures that leverage both the embedded intelligence in CPE and cloud-based analytics to maximize responsiveness and performance.” – Metin Taskin, CTO of Airties

"Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity has been built on the coordinated use of 802.11k/v/r/ai capabilities for environments with many overlapping wireless networks. This helps deliver a smooth and stable Wi-Fi connectivity experience when selecting, authenticating, and roaming across different wireless access points.” – Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer, ASSIA

“The advancements of Wi-Fi Optimized Connectivity create a more fluid exchange of necessary data, allowing for an uninterrupted wireless mobile experience fast enough to meet the demands of today’s active users. As a Wi-Fi Alliance partner pioneering fast, secure, seamless Wi-Fi for enterprise, business, and consumers, we at Boingo view this as a true win for all,” – Dr. Derek Peterson, CTO, Boingo Wireless

“Seamless roaming enables a hassle-free experience for consumers as they increasingly depend on Wi-Fi for their wireless data needs. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program gives smartphones the ability to pick the router with the best connection and allows users to roam freely across wireless networks. The updated program incorporates new network discovery enhancements and, together with Wi-Fi 6E, offers a glimpse into future Wi-Fi usage models. Broadcom is excited to obtain certification for this updated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program and be selected as a testbed device.” – Christopher Szymanski, Director of Product Marketing, Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division, Broadcom Inc.  

“Intel is focused on enabling great PC platform Wi-Fi experiences for people. Wi-Fi Alliance’s new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity program will help the industry deliver seamless roaming with faster and more efficient network discovery, selection, and connections. We applaud Wi-Fi Alliance on its continued progress for delivering another great interoperability solution. We’re delighted Intel had the opportunity to help lead the task group’s efforts and that our products are among the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity devices.” – Eric McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group, GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation

“The Wi-Fi Alliance Optimized Connectivity certification program is an exceptionally important and impactful approach to deliver standards-based innovation across the industry, ensuring maximum performance, stability, and interoperability. Qualcomm Technologies continues to support these efforts through our participation across these programs, innovation contribution, and implementation across our Wi-Fi product portfolios." – VK Jones, VP of Technology, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


About Wi-Fi Alliance®  |  www.wi-fi.org
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 65,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

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Media Contact:
Stephanie Burke
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance