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Wi-Fi news from Wi-Fi Alliance®

Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. – June 30, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® continues to advance development of the Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) system that maximizes spectrum access in the 6 GHz frequency band. Wi-Fi Alliance is proud to announce the release of two additional elements necessary for AFC system implementation: the AFC System Reference Model and AFC Device Compliance Test Plan. This accomplishment follows the publication of the AFC System to AFC Device Interface Specification earlier this year. By bringing together technical experts from a broad section of the industry, Wi-Fi Alliance is rapidly enabling Wi-Fi 6E deployment worldwide.

Wi-Fi Alliance continues to advocate for countries to make the 6 GHz band available to Wi-Fi®, unleashing the capacity, speed, and reduced latency benefits of Wi-Fi 6E. The AFC system, already adopted into 6 GHz regulatory framework in Canada and U.S., is also being considered by regulators in other countries. Development of this AFC system framework demonstrates the commitment by Wi-Fi Alliance to maximizing 6 GHz spectrum opportunity and accelerating delivery of Wi-Fi 6E benefits.

Wi-Fi Alliance development efforts on this innovative AFC system are ongoing, with the aim of ensuring worldwide adoption, interoperability, security, and reliability expected of Wi-Fi. Available AFC documents now include:

For more information, please visit: https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-certified-6

 

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.

New Wi-Fi® certification path helps bring products to market more quickly

Austin, Texas – June 23, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® is introducing QuickTrack as a new certification path that provides a simpler, lower cost option to achieve Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ product certification. QuickTrack allows Wi-Fi Alliance members to build products based on Qualified Solutions – modules, chipsets, and other solutions which have undergone prerequisite testing. Using the QuickTrack path, end product developers may pursue Wi-Fi® certification by testing new, innovative Wi-Fi products based on trusted Qualified Solutions designed to meet industry-agreed Wi-Fi CERTIFIED requirements.

QuickTrack enables Wi-Fi product vendors to introduce quality devices into the market faster. The new QuickTrack certification path lowers testing costs and reduces the time needed to complete Wi-Fi certification testing. By relying on Qualified Solutions which have already completed Wi-Fi functionality testing, QuickTrack builds upon the testing already completed for core Wi-Fi components. QuickTrack also offers the convenience of testing at a member’s own testing site, or at an Authorized Test Laboratory (ATL).

“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED provides companies tailored testing options to deliver the highest quality Wi-Fi, whether certifying an enterprise-class access point or the latest Internet of Things gadget,” said Kevin Robinson, SVP of Marketing, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to now offer QuickTrack, enabling solution providers to deliver great value to their customers by jump-starting the end product certification process and empowering end product developers to integrate industry-standard testing into their ongoing quality programs to ensure products meet Wi-Fi CERTIFIED requirements throughout their lifetime.”

To meet the diverse needs of more than 800 member companies, Wi-Fi Alliance now offers three paths to certify Wi-Fi products. These paths accommodate multiple product development approaches – from creating a product design built from original components to branding products designed and manufactured by another entity. Wi-Fi Alliance members will find the right testing and certification path to meet their needs, with tools that support variation in testing methods and test location options. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED paths include:

  • QuickTrack (newest option): Tailored to products based on suppliers’ solutions that have already completed core Wi-Fi functionality testing as part of a Qualified Solution. QuickTrack allows targeted modifications to Wi-Fi components and functionality. Testing is completed in-house at the member’s testing site or at an ATL.
  • FlexTrack: Tailored to highly differentiated products designed from the ground up. FlexTrack allows extensive flexibility in product design, including Wi-Fi functionality customization and optimization. Testing is completed at an ATL.
  • Derivative: Tailored to product portfolios where multiple products use identical Wi-Fi designs, such as multiple television models with the same Wi-Fi module or appliances designed by one vendor for distribution under other vendors’ brands. Members apply for certification of derivative products without the requirement to complete testing.

Member companies providing the first Qualified Solutions which serve as the basis for creating and certifying other products through QuickTrack include: ASR Microelectronics Co., Ltd, Intel®, Microchip and Qualcomm Technologies. The first products certified using the new QuickTrack method include: the Midea IoT Application from Midea Group, that will be used as a source to certify millions of secure, interoperable IoT and smart appliances in China, and the PIC32MZ-W1 Wi-Fi® SoC and Module Family from Microchip. SRTC is the first Authorized Test Lab supporting QuickTrack certification for members.

Qualified Solutions available include:

  • ASR Wi-Fi ComBo Module
  • ASR Wi-Fi Module
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210
  • Microchip PIC32MZ-W1 Wi-Fi® SoC and Module Family
  • Qualcomm Technologies 2×2 Wi-Fi 6E SoC for Mobile and Compute

Industry support for QuickTrack

“To support large venue operations connecting thousands of devices, next-generation Wi-Fi equipment needs to meet high-quality standards. QuickTrack certification marks an important quality assurance step to support Wi-Fi deployments in demanding environments. At Boingo, we’re seeing more and more Wi-Fi 6E equipment coming to the market and we applaud industry efforts to establish respected quality standards to help bring best-in-class connectivity to enterprises.” – Dr. Derek Peterson, CTO, Boingo Wireless

“We’d like to congratulate Wi-Fi Alliance on the launch of the new QuickTrack certification path. This new approach will positively impact the future of the Wi-Fi industry by helping to make it much easier and less costly for companies to obtain Wi-Fi certification for their products. We were delighted to actively participate in QuickTrack’s development and that our Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210 product will be one of the first Qualified Solutions for QuickTrack.” – Carlos Cordeiro, Wireless CTO, Client Computing Group, Intel Corporation

“We are glad that Midea Group’s IoT application product is the first to get certified following the new QuickTrack certification path that significantly lowers the time and cost to get Wi-Fi CERTIFIED. We believe the industry will benefit from this new, simple and fast process when more and more products are certified and compliant with the Wi-Fi standards. – Joshua Xiang, CTO and VP of IoT, Midea Group

“The new QuickTrack certification path is a real milestone. With this streamlined process, the Wi-Fi Alliance enables even small and medium-sized Wi-Fi manufacturers to certify their products quickly and with manageable effort. In future, consumers will be able to choose from a wider variety of certified products on the market and compare product features more easily.” – Jan Buis, Vice President Business Development, LANCOM Systems

“Microchip is excited to take a leading position in the rollout of Wi-Fi Alliance’s new QuickTrack program. The streamlined process allows our customers to quickly and easily certify their applications. By partnering early on with QuickTrack, Microchip is able to provide out-of-the-box access to the most up-to-date, advanced Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs on our latest generation of Wi-Fi silicon.” – Steve Caldwell, vice president of Microchip’s wireless solutions business unit.

“QuickTrack provides effective certification procedures and tools, and shortens the test time and certification cycle of some Wi-Fi products. Using QuickTrack, laboratories can adopt more flexible certification strategies to quickly obtain Wi-Fi certification from Wi-Fi Alliance.” – PengZhen, Director of International Certification Department (ICD), The State Radio monitoring Testing Center (SRTC)

For more information on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED, please visit: https://www.wi-fi.org/certification

 

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.

 

Follow Wi-Fi Alliance:
wi-fi.org/beacon
facebook.com/wificertified
twitter.com/wifialliance
linkedin.com/company/wi-fi-alliance

 

Media Contact:
Stephanie Burke
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
[email protected]

Austin, TX – May 11, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® provides trusted security to billions of Wi-Fi® devices, and regularly updates Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ requirements to address wireless security and privacy challenges as the threat landscape evolves.

Security researchers identified vulnerabilities in the frame aggregation functionality of some Wi-Fi devices. There is no evidence of the vulnerabilities being used against Wi-Fi users maliciously, and these issues are mitigated through routine device updates that enable detection of suspect transmissions or improve adherence to recommended security implementation practices. Wi-Fi Alliance has taken immediate steps to ensure users can remain confident in the strong security protections provided by Wi-Fi.

  • Wi-Fi CERTIFIED now includes additional testing within our global certification lab network to encourage greater adoption of recommended practices
  • Wi-Fi Alliance is broadly communicating implementation guidance to device vendors and the broader ecosystem community
  • Many Wi-Fi Alliance members affected by the issue have already started deploying updates to user devices

As always, Wi-Fi users should ensure they have installed the latest recommended updates from device manufacturers.

As with any technology, robust security research that pre-emptively identifies potential vulnerabilities is critical to maintaining strong protections. Wi-Fi Alliance thanks Mathy Vanhoef (New York University Abu Dhabi) for discovering and responsibly reporting this issue, allowing industry to proactively prepare updates. Wi-Fi Alliance also thanks the Industry Consortium for Advancement of Security on the Internet (ICASI) for their strong partnership and collaboration.

For more information, please refer to statement from ICASIhttps://www.icasi.org/aggregation-fragmentation-attacks-against-wifi/

Relevant Identifiers:

 

  • ICASI case ID: USIRP02-2020
  • CVE-2020-24586
  • CVE-2020-24587
  • CVE-2020-24588
  • CVE-2020-26139
  • CVE-2020-26140
  • CVE-2020-26141
  • CVE-2020-26142
  • CVE-2020-26143
  • CVE-2020-26144
  • CVE-2020-26145
  • CVE-2020-26146
  • CVE-2020-26147

Relevant research:

Guidance for implementations:

 

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.

Follow Wi-Fi Alliance:
wi-fi.org/beacon
facebook.com/wificertified
twitter.com/wifialliance
linkedin.com/company/wi-fi-alliance

May 10, 2021 by Ken Kerpez

Working from home has risen vastly over the past year, and this trend looks to be here to stay. While a user may ignore occasional blips in their “for fun” internet, working from home requires a new level of network performance. Ensuring Wi-Fi® Quality of Service (QoS) is arguably the most important component of such performance, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ is now able to provide the reliability that working from home requires.

The importance of Wi-Fi QoS Management™ when working from home

Wi-Fi is becoming one of the most important approaches for connecting devices to the internet. Consumers are demanding that operators provide a high quality Wi-Fi experience when it comes to Wi-Fi connectivity across all devices. In particular, work-from-home, or telework, has emerged as a vitally important application supported by Wi-Fi. There is a growing need for operators to manage and ensure mission critical telework traffic over Wi-Fi, and residential connections should be managed to ensure connectivity and performance that enables productive employees. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management has now emerged to ensure telework traffic is prioritized, resulting in an improved work-from-home experience for employees.

The technology driving Wi-Fi QoS Management

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Multimedia™ (WMM®) provides the over-the-air mechanisms to support traffic prioritization, including prioritization of work from home traffic. While WMM can prioritize telework applications to ensure their service quality, it did not provide the capabilities to link the Wi-Fi layer with the IP or application layers for residential Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management simplifies the prioritization and management of latency-sensitive traffic in Wi-Fi networks by enabling IP data flows to be classified and mapped to one of four QoS access categories defined by WMM. This helps ensure that traffic for real-time applications and services is inserted into queues with higher priority, resulting in a better experience for end-users.

Wi-Fi QoS Management supports Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) mapping, which is a marking in the IP packet headers for managing network priority and QoS across the network. Wi-Fi QoS Management can classify traffic and map flows into DSCP code points, whereby work-related flows are identified and assigned to high priorities. Wi-Fi QoS Management then enables configuration mapping of the IP-layer DSCP markings to WMM categories, allowing for prioritization and ensuring QoS on Wi-Fi. The essential component of priority across the Wi-Fi link is enabled by Wi-Fi QoS Management. In addition, Wi-Fi QoS Management can similarly support Mirrored Stream Classification Service (MSCS) to ensure QoS of work applications on client devices across the Wi-Fi link.

Solutions available to harness benefits of Wi-Fi QoS Management

Solutions such as ASSIA Equipe are coming to market to harness the benefits of Wi-Fi QoS Management for employees working from home. This Wi-Fi management platform runs on Wi-Fi gateways and Wi-Fi extenders in conjunction with a cloud-based management system and a smartphone application that the employee interacts with. Equipe collects and analyzes many Wi-Fi performance-related parameters to determine and optimize “Workput”—an AI model that learns the true impact of an individual’s connectivity for telework. Ensuring work from home prioritization for Telework QoS is crucial to high Workput.

The use of Wi-Fi QoS Management by such solutions enables operators to take a great step forward by prioritizing critical workflows to support telework as a service. For instance, Equipe can use Wi-Fi QoS Management to assign high priority and support end-to-end QoS of Workput flows across the network, particularly across the crucial Wi-Fi link. It is Wi-Fi QoS Management’s ability to support prioritization of these flows that makes it so critical to telework, enabling employees to enjoy a high quality work from home experience.

In many households, Wi-Fi is shared between time-sensitive, performance-oriented work flows and more casual traffic. Wi-Fi QoS management enables mission-critical applications to meet their delay and quality requirements, ensuring the now-pervasive needs of telework can now be fully supported.

 

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to [email protected].

May 04, 2021 by Michael Muller

This content was originally published on LANCOMWIRE: The LANCOM Systems Tech Blog.

Urban spaces are sprouting up like mushrooms, growing beyond their boundaries and presenting completely new challenges in terms of mobility and infrastructure. Mobility as we know it today, with overcrowded streets and poor air quality, is a model that has had its day.

Climate goals aside, urban transport networks are barely keeping pace with the enormous numbers of commuters who move around each day. If we consider Latin America, with the high altitudes of Bolivia’s capital La Paz or the Mexican metropolises, the models being implemented may well inspire urban future-proof mobility concepts for other cities in the long term: Modern cable car systems that traverse many different city plateaus. From the high altitude regions of the Alps, for example, we are familiar with gondolas and cable car systems that are networked with the latest technology. But what requirements does the network have to meet in urban areas?

Up high in Latin America

© Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH

Mi Teleférico, which translates from Spanish as “my cable car,” has connected the Bolivian cities of La Paz and El Alto since 2014. In this case, the Austrian cable car manufacturer Doppelmayr/Garaventa has built the world’s largest urban cable car network. Consisting of ten lines in total, the cable car network offers daily commuters a faster way to reach their destinations. Some sections of the system negotiate up to 666 meters of difference in altitude. It wouldn’t work without the latest technology: For the security-related applications and additional service offerings for passengers, a stable Wi-Fi® network is essential. The requirements of a Wi-Fi for urban cable cars like those in La Paz are extremely tough. On the one hand, the network has to control safety-related applications, such as the intercom system in the gondolas, security cameras and lighting control, as well as the monitoring of the pylons and battery systems. On the other hand, passengers in the gondola expect Wi-Fi with a strong and stable signal. With travel times of up to half an hour, a seamless Wi-Fi network offers even more convenience.

Networks at the cutting edge

The implementation of a network over a total distance of 30 kilometers required the setup of a communication system consisting of Wi-Fi access points and directional radio antennas. In La Paz, each cable car pylon and each individual gondola is equipped with a dual-radio outdoor Wi-Fi access point. The altitudes involved demand special hardware for the networks. Thanks to their IP66 protective housing, outdoor access points work reliably in temperatures ranging from -33° to +70° Celsius and withstand the weather with its snow, dust and the cold of the Andes. The APs are equipped with directional antennas to specifically focus the Wi-Fi signal along the path taken by the gondolas. Each gondola is also fitted with an AP that receives the signal and forwards it to the Mobility Communications System (MCS)—in this case a central system designed by LOOP21. The central communication system replaces, among other things, the radio technology required for the alarm and safety system. To ensure seamless wireless connectivity for the communication system, it is particularly important that the directional radio antennas of the OAPs are aligned precisely.

Requirements in airy heights

The demands on a network in urban areas are great: it has to handle long distances, extreme differences in altitude, and different sources of interference from radio networks. And the wireless network is just as scalable as the cable car network itself. New sections of a route can be quickly and easily provided with Wi-Fi and integrated into the overall network.

As a model for the mobility of the future, urban cable cars like those in Latin America are a role model for metropolitan regions that are reaching their limits of their infrastructure. Thanks to modern network technology that combines passenger convenience with important security requirements, future viability is guaranteed.

All pictures were provided by Doppelymayr Seilbahnen GmbH.

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to [email protected].

April 22, 2021 by Chatwin Lansdowne

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One of NASA’s space suits now has two Wi-Fi clients and three Wi-Fi antennas.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins wore a Wi-Fi® enabled helmet camera during an extravehicular activity on 28 February 2021 to demonstrate a high-definition live video streaming application. Rubins and NASA astronaut Victor Glover were attaching brackets so that new-technology solar panels could be added to the solar arrays. The crew inside the International Space Station cabin were able to see the video on a laptop, while the support team on the ground also used the video to coach the pair through a grueling procedure that was beleaguered by two stuck bolts and a damaged glove. NASA refers to the camera by a stacked acronym, it is the High Definition Extra-Vehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) Camera Assembly, or HECA.

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins covers the hatch after egressing from the crew airlock. The crisp photo is a video frame that was streamed live from the new high-definition wireless camera mounted beside her helmet. (Source: NASA)

Although eight access points (APs) now provide service outside of the space station, Rubins and Glover needed to work together at the farthest port-side end of the space station’s main truss. That is presently about 50 meters from the nearest Wi-Fi infrastructure, and the view is blocked by the station’s solar panels and thermal radiator panels. The nearest infrastructure points consist of antennas outside the space station cabled to an AP inside the space station. Despite the challenges of distance, cables, structural blockage, and roaming, the live high-definition video was available during most of the work, and the camera’s client switched quickly between APs as Rubins changed position and orientation.

While the pair were as far from the airlock as an astronaut can climb, pausing for a routine glove check Glover observed a split in the rubbery coating at the left index finger crease of his glove. It appeared to be a small hole. Any damage to the protective layers of the glove could leak oxygen from his suit. Victor struggled to decide how much damage he was seeing.

“When Kate gets over here, maybe I can show you in the HECA.”

“Yep, and that’s exactly what we were thinking, Ike” mission control replied.

After some high-definition inspection under artificial lighting, the Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) advised Glover, “Ike, I think we have as good a view of that glove as we’re going to get. Just minimize the use of that hand.”

Victor Glover’s standard definition camera did not convey enough detail for the ground to inspect the damage to his glove. (Source: NASA)

After Kate Rubins moved to use her new helmet camera to inspect damage on Victor Glover’s glove, CAPCOM relayed the decision to continue the spacewalk and “just minimize the use of that hand.” (Source: NASA)

A gradual approach to technology transition

The cameras were delivered to the space station in November 2019 to support servicing of theAlpha Magnetic Spectrometer, but instead remained in storage until the crew had time to retrofit the suits with a package of upgrades. In November 2020, the population of the space station more than doubled when the first operational SpaceX Crew Dragon docked with a manifest of four astronauts. And in early February, Rubins assembled a camera, turned it on to make certain it worked, and then installed the first of the cameras onto the “EV1” (red stripes) space suit.

Kate Rubins pauses to read an interactive crew procedure from a Wi-Fi connected tablet that floats hands-free. (Source: NASA)

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins connects the power cable as she installs the first high-definition helmet camera onto her space suit. (Source: NASA)

The HECA up-streams live HD video through Wi-Fi for viewing by the crew and on the ground. The HECA HD video is also recorded to internal storage, and segments can be recovered afterward by uploading over Wi-Fi for return-link to the ground.

HD video will help with close-out photo-documentation that recently has been performed using a hand-held Nikon D5 or GoPro video. A ground console operator in the Mission Control Center (MCC) using the call sign “CRONUS” can command the video encoder in the new camera to a wide range of streaming rates. CRONUS can also use the camera to take still photos. The crew inside the space station can now display the video on a laptop to help them track the spacewalk as it progresses, and therefore CRONUS can configure the camera to stream to two destination addresses over wireless so that both the crew and the ground can observe simultaneously.

The camera uses a pair of low-profile circularly polarized antennas that are oriented to achieve omnidirectional aggregate coverage rather than overlapped antenna coverage. Low profile antennas on a suit are less likely to snag or break and are therefore preferred as it is not uncommon for the suit to drift against the structure as the astronauts climb, reach, twist tools, or float through narrow openings. The camera supports Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ ac, also known as Wi-Fi 5. The Wi-Fi client adapter in the HECA is the first client to support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED LocationTM, opening the possibility that someday ground control teams will be able to plot the spacesuit location during critical operations, or that a future suit informatics system can know its own relative location by using the Wi-Fi infrastructure to gauge distances.

The U.S. space suits already had a Wi-Fi client, an engineering data recorder that debuted in March 2019. The EMU Data Recorder (EDaR) live-streams non-critical low-rate telemetry.

Chris Cassidy modeled the prototype high-definition digital helmet camera (round lens on left), as he rehearsed the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer servicing EVA in 2019. The camera was part of a larger suit upgrade package that waited over a year on-board the space station for the crew to have time to install. Legacy cameras (square lenses on right) continue to provide standard definition video. (Source: NASA)

NASA has deployed eight mixed-vendor Wi-Fi 4 access points to provide coverage outside of the International Space Station. Other external payloads have been stationary, so the suits are NASA’s first mobile outdoor Wi-Fi clients. Some special engineering is needed to increase the agility of the Wi-Fi connection managed by the cameras as they move outside the space station. The activity allowed NASA to evaluate impacts to the network before adding a camera to the second suit.

Wi-Fi was the obvious choice for the HD suit camera. The existing wireless video infrastructure cannot support digital signaling, and the Intel single-board computer selected to perform video encoding already included a Wi-Fi radio. Wi-Fi coverage surrounding the space station is already good, and additional hardware is ready to install as needed to further improve coverage.

Technology, past and future

There was a time before Wi-Fi. The HD camera retired the widest and least-used view among the three selectable analog National Television System Committee (NTSC) standard definition cameras in the legacy system. These helmet cameras appeared on space suits in December 2000, to support the assembly work for the space station. The radio technology for these legacy cameras derives from a terrestrial design that provided cockpit video for NASCAR races during the 1990s. This system is designed to be supported by three infrastructure points on the space station, each point can support a video stream from one space suit. The HECA demonstration comes as the analog system is approaching “end of life.” In fact, the new camera demonstrated far superior wireless coverage when viewed beside the standard definition camera during the activity because one of the legacy infrastructure points had failed and needed to be replaced. The legacy system will continue to operate as the community works through the technology transition.

Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky with GoPro strapped to left arm. Source: NASA

Space suit live video greatly improves situational awareness on the ground and on the space station, but it is not considered critical. The Russian Orlan suits do not have a helmet camera of their own, but since 2013 have been outfitted with a GoPro to record video and then upload it to the network after returning inside using interior Wi-Fi. The NASA helmet cameras are sometimes used on the Orlan suits, and the new cameras are expected to appear soon on both NASA suits, and the Russian Orlan suits as well.

The current generation of space suit debuted on the Space Shuttle in 1983. As NASA develops the latest statement in celestial fashion for its next walk on the moon, many updates are being incorporated. Expect the functions that Wi-Fi has helped retrofit onto today’s space suits, to be integrated into the next-generation lunar suit design.

Trade names and trademarks are used in this report for identification only. Their usage does not constitute an official endorsement, either expressed or implied, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

 

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to [email protected].

 

Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. – March 30, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® commends Saudi Arabia’s Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC) on the decisionto expand Wi-Fi® operations to the5.925-7.125 GHz frequency band. With this momentous decision, CITC empowers tremend

ous connectivity benefits of the latest Wi-Fi 6E technology in Saudi Arabia and affirms its leadership in enabling the next generation of wireless services. Wi-Fi Alliance members are ready to follow through on the CITC’s decision by delivering a wave of new Wi-Fi 6E products and services to Saudi Arabia’s consumers, enterprises, and economy.

 

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.

Follow Wi-Fi Alliance:
wi-fi.org/beacon
facebook.com/wificertified
twitter.com/wifialliance
linkedin.com/company/wi-fi-alliance

Media Contact:
Stephanie Burke
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
[email protected]

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.

Wi-Fi QoS Management™ brings robust service delivery and high quality Wi-Fi experiences

Austin, Texas – February 23, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® introduces Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™, a new certification program delivering a standardized approach to traffic prioritization that improves the Wi-Fi® experience with real-time applications. Wi-Fi QoS Management™ builds on widely adopted Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WMM™ to deliver a consistent, end-to-end approach to Quality of Service (QoS) treatment in Wi-Fi networks. The program introduces two new technologies that allow Wi-Fi devices, applications, and network managers to prioritize traffic flows by establishing a standards-based approach to QoS mirroring, and by aligning with IETF recommendations for QoS mapping between Internet Protocol (IP) and IEEE 802.11. Residential, enterprise, and public networks benefit from Wi-Fi QoS Management, particularly when using applications requiring low latency and low jitter, including videoconferencing, interactive gaming, AR/VR, industrial IoT, and healthcare monitoring.

Wi-Fi QoS Management provides standardized mechanisms that allow client applications to request QoS treatment, and for network managers to implement QoS policies. These mechanisms allow user devices and access points to select differentiated prioritization depending on the application. The result is robust service delivery and higher quality Wi-Fi, including better experiences with real-time and immersive applications, and reduced latency and jitter when online gaming or accessing interactive cloud and edge services.

“Today’s Wi-Fi networks carry a demanding amount of real-time data applications that require discerning treatment to deliver high quality experiences,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi Alliance is introducing Wi-Fi QoS Management as a new way to manage Wi-Fi traffic and ensure end-user expectations for superior performance continue to be met.”

Wi-Fi QoS Management features two key technologies:

  • Mirrored Stream Classification Service (MSCS): enables a client device to request the access point to apply specific QoS treatment of downlink IP data flows using QoS mirroring
  • Differentiated Service Code Point (DSCP) mapping: aligns QoS treatment across Wi-Fi and wired networks and also enables network managers to configure specific QoS policies

MSCS – based on the concept of “mirrored” QoS – provides a simple means for applications on user devices to request traffic be assigned the desired priority level. This bidirectional QoS treatment ensures consistent, reduced latency for the device application and delivers positive Wi-Fi experiences even when the Wi-Fi channel is congested. DSCP mapping allows the network manager to map traffic from both access points and client devices to a particular QoS priority across the network. In enterprise networks, a network manager can configure videoconferencing traffic as high priority and configure a mapping table that can be updated to ensure the requirements of mission-critical services are met.

Member companies providing interoperability test bed devices that are among the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management products include Broadcom Inc., Intel, and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Industry support for Wi-Fi QoS Management:

“Airties and Wi-Fi Alliance share an ongoing commitment to improve the home Wi-Fi experience. We commend Wi-Fi Alliance’s new efforts in Wi-Fi QoS Management aimed at enhancing the performance of real-time applications. This feature can certainly serve to complement the kind of advanced Smart Wi-Fi software and cloud management solutions provided by Airties to service providers around the globe.” –Metin Taskin, CTO, Airties

“Wi-Fi QoS Management is the first step to transform Wi-Fi connectivity from “best effort” to consistent availability for specific data traffic streams, especially for teleworking and distributed enterprise applications. Wi-Fi QoS Management capability is a key building block for ASSIA products.” – Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer, ASSIA

“Broadcom applauds Wi-Fi Alliance for releasing the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management program, and is honored to be selected as a test bed supplier. Wi-Fi QoS Management provides the tools to empower application developers and vendors of mobile and gaming devices to manage bidirectional traffic flows on home and enterprise Wi-Fi networks to enable the required quality of service for all applications. It also provides essential tools to enable network administrators to manage QoS at a system level. Wi-Fi QoS Management combined with Wi-Fi 6E will enable enterprises, operators, and users to enjoy latency sensitive applications such as live video streaming, gaming, augmented and virtual reality, even in spectrally congested and challenging environments.” – Thomas Derham, Sr. Principal Scientist, Wireless Communications and Connectivity Division, Broadcom Inc., and contributor to the Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi QoS Management task group

“CommScope is committed to ensuring that the networks and homes we serve are capable of enabling the lower latency and more deterministic connectivity that services require. Wi-Fi in both single family and multi-dwelling unit homes needs to be capable of prioritizing services such as working from home applications and emerging low latency immersive experiences (gaming, AR/VR). We welcome the new Wi-Fi QoS Management certification program and any initiatives that can deliver round trip quality of service for Wi-Fi.” –  Ian Wheelock, Engineering Fellow, CommScope

“End-to-end QoS support is extremely important for our devices to deliver better Wi-Fi experiences for a new breed of applications such as cloud, gaming, AR/VR, and video conferencing that demand low latency and higher traffic priority treatment. Intel is happy to be a leader of the QoS work at Wi-Fi Alliance and having our product be among the first ones to be certified for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management.” – Eric McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group, GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation

“Wi-Fi is an essential enabler for today’s digital economy and provides the backbone for multiple real-time applications with simultaneous usage of voice, video and data. ON Semiconductor has been a strong supporter of Wi-Fi Alliance’s certification programs to optimize Wi-Fi network performance. As such, QoS is a cornerstone of our technology platforms with built-in functionality to differentiate between traffic flows, giving precedence to high priority traffic and ensuring airtime fairness across both flow types and devices. It is all about improving user experience, and reducing latency, packet loss, and jitter.” – Irvind Ghai, vice president of marketing, Wireless Connectivity and Signal Process Division, ON Semiconductor

“Wi-Fi QoS Management is very valuable to provide improved user experiences for throughput and latency intensive applications, such as gaming, video and multimedia applications. By verifying interoperability between access points and client devices on Wi-Fi networks, this certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance is an important milestone to help the benefits of Wi-Fi QoS Management reach their full potential.” – Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, Connectivity and Networking, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

For more information, please visit https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-qos-management.

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.

Wi-Fi 6E in the palm of your hand

January 18, 2021 by Christopher Szymanski

The year 2020 was monumental for Wi-Fi®. The United States, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Chile designated the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use, a slew of additional countries explored opening the band, Wi-Fi Alliance® introduced the Wi-Fi 6E branding, and top Wi-Fi innovators announced a variety of new products.

And it’s already been a busy start to 2021 for 6 GHz Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi 6E — it’s certifiably fast, and it’s here

Last week, Wi-Fi Alliance launched its Wi-Fi 6E certification program, and Wi-Fi 6E devices are already being certified. At CES this week, access point vendors, such as TP-Link unveiled Wi-Fi 6E routers. Intel also announced an update to its vPro platform and MediaTek received FCC certification, both of which bring Wi-Fi 6E to laptop computers.

Just yesterday, at its annual Unpacked event, Samsung introduced the world’s first Wi-Fi 6E phone: the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is powered by Broadcom’s BCM4389 chip. The GS21 Ultra has five cameras to develop ultra-rich media, and consumers can share what they create with blisteringly fast Wi-Fi 6E.

Wi-Fi 6E enables these advanced applications and 5G services by taking advantage of brand new spectrum: 1,200 MHz of open airwaves in the 6 GHz band. The seven new 160 MHz channel bandwidths will double Wi-Fi speeds and cut latency in half compared to Wi-Fi 5. In fact, the BCM4389 delivers over 2 Gbps of real-world speeds, up to five times better battery utilization, improved coverage, and ultra-low latency — less than 1 ms. The reliable, high-speed connections of Wi-Fi 6E bring the classroom or the office into a smartphone.

With Wi-Fi 6E, the smartphone becomes a smart hub or smart computing platform, allowing consumers to connect to peripheral devices such as AR/VR glasses, smart speakers, TVs, and the ever-growing number of home networking devices without any decrease in performance.  Gamers will delight in gaming without glitches or delays.

So why should consumers get excited about this Wi-Fi innovation? A handheld Wi-Fi 6E device is a gamechanger for two reasons: a fast, flawless user experience and the various innovative use cases that it will fuel.

Enabling the next generation of use cases

Wi-Fi 6E will be a workhorse for powering 5G services, making it an ideal solution for flagship smartphones, laptops, AR and VR devices, and future Internet of Things (IoT) innovations.

In a video-first world, Wi-Fi 6E empowers consumers with a clean frequency band that delivers multi-gigabit speeds. A Wi-Fi 6E smartphone like the Galaxy S21 Ultra will enable ultra-high-definition video streaming and multiparty video conferencing, making working and playing from home a breeze. This will speed the proliferation of 8K video, casting, and more. And, with the ability to download a movie, photo, or file at speeds over a gigabit per second, sharing becomes nearly instantaneous.

With 160 MHz channels, Wi-Fi 6E will enable more precise Wi-Fi location indoors, where GPS location is not as accurate. This will enable applications, such as asset tracking, emergency services, and keyless entry. In the not-so-distant future, you will be able to list the items you wish to buy in an application and be provided aisle-to-shelf routing throughout the store to pick up your merchandise on the exact shelf on which it is located—first using your smartphone, and in the future with your AR glasses.

Wi-Fi 6E will also leverage important peer-to-peer Wi-Fi technologies to improve Client-to-Client communications. Imagine sharing 8K videos with your family or friends after a trip in the blink of an eye, or blisteringly fast transfers for unified communications across various devices, both in the workplace and at home. Be it automating school attendance or securely printing documents without having to log in to a network, these applications will work even better.

The vast amount of 6 GHz spectrum, along with Wi-Fi 6E scheduling, will limit channel contention. Not only will this provide the world’s best gaming experience, but it will also enable immersive educational opportunities for students and training exercises for employees. Walmart, which uses virtual reality to train employees for Black Friday crowds, could soon use VR glasses and a compute device contained in a smartphone. All these next-generation applications exist in the palm of the hand.

2021: The year of Wi-Fi 6E

This will undoubtedly be the year of Wi-Fi 6E. Now more than ever, the benefits of wireless connectivity are more valuable than we ever imagined. From supporting a portion of our workforce with remote working to helping educate our children with distance learning, Wi-Fi truly is the backbone of our economy.

Thanks to strong regulatory momentum and industry efforts, Wi-Fi 6E will quickly proliferate in phones, PCs, and other devices this year. This technology offers disruptive speeds and low latency benefits, and consumers and enterprises alike will see this value. A vibrant ecosystem of Wi-Fi 6E end devices will burgeon this year and the world will be unmistakably replete with Wi-Fi.

Today, with Wi-Fi 6E smartphone, laptops, and routers already available, the next generation has arrived, and consumers’ wireless experience will never be the same.

 

The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to [email protected].