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« UMA Handsets To Appear | Main | Boeing Tests Cell-to-IP Phone Links in Air »

September 23, 2005

VoWLAN Starts To Get Priority

By Glenn Fleishman

Wi-Fi Alliance works to settle issues preventing VoWLAN rollout: The trade group is, as usual, ahead of the IEEE: markets come before standards. The 802.11e task group which has been working for years on packet prioritization and related issues to ensure good VoIP calls and non-stuttering streaming audio and video over Wi-Fi is nearly done. The WMM (Wi-Fi Multimedia) spec from the Wi-Fi Alliance resembles WPA: it’s not the complete standard, but it’s a useful enough stub to push out into devices and certify.

The goal is to allow multiple handsets to work with a single Wi-Fi access point without overwhelming its capacity, and to have handsets that have enough juice in them to work for the very long periods of time expected from normal cordless phones.

This article notes that WMM hasn’t seen much uptake, despite its inclusion of packet prioritization, key for allowing voice data to supercede other data as needed for audio continuity. SpectraLink added it, but all VoWLAN and VoLAN vendors have already built their own quality of service (QoS) into their proprietary systems, so may have little need to provide early interoperability with an in-progress standard until its customers demand it.

Posted by Glennf at September 23, 2005 9:42 AM

Categories: Standards

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